Kahled, a 17-year-old resident of Daraa, with cerebral palsy lost his family in the Syrian Civil War. He made his way to the Bader Center in Jordan to receive treatment and experienced severed Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. At first, Kahled could only walk on his tiptoes with assistance. Mood swings and low self-esteem drove him to self-isolation. Gradually Kahled regained control of his body and mind with treatment and learned to walk again with physical therapy. Art therapy provided Kahled with training to become a prolific painter. Today he lives in the Zaatari camp, paints and continues to work with ADT and the Polus Center. In 2017, Kahled’s paintings were chosen by Giles Duley, a professional photographer to be exhibited along with his own work in an upcoming exhibition. Kahled’s goal is to become a famous artist, a doctor or a football player.
Shot in the back during the war, Ola Lakoud sustained injuries to her spine and vertebrae that made it difficult to move. At 14 she was told she would never walk again. By the time she came into contact with ADT and the Polus Center she had passed through many doctors, all of whom declared her to be without hope of recovery. At first, her shame and anxiety were so great that she would not allow anyone other than her physical therapist, to see her. It was this connection built on trust and care that supported her dramatic recovery. Over the course of the next five months Ola went from a “hopeless case” to walking with a cane. With improved mobility came improved confidence and she began to open up to the people around her. Ola now 19, lives in Zataari refugee camp and carries shrapnel in her legs from the war. She awaits additional surgery as she continues rehabilitation therapy, and dreams of pursuing her love of learning. She has received many proposals for marriage but she wants to wait until her walking is fully restored before pursuing her dream of raising a family.
Sami Farraj lost his home and parents in the spring of 2011 when Syrian Armed Forces entered the village of Ihnken, Daraa and Eight-year-old Sami and his older brother fled to Jasem, a “safe zone” village where a bomb killed two of his young cousins and injured Sami. He was rushed to a field hospital at an abandoned school where both legs were were amputated. In 2013 the brothers traveled to Zaatari camp in Jordan for medical help where Sami encountered ADT and the Polus Center. He underwent two additional surgeries, and began the physical therapy to prepare him for prosthesis. Psychological trauma therapy program introduced Sami to painting. His art work ranges from dark depictions of the trauma, a strong connection to family, newfound love, and hope. For the first time since his injury, Sami feels life is worth living because of working with color. He loves the theatre and continues to find joy in his painting. Sami has performed in several productions at a Zaatari camp theatre and hopes to become a lawyer, a painter, or a theater artist.
Fatima Al Dayat
Fatima Aldayat grew up in the Syrian countryside, living with her parents and 5 brothers in the village of Ghouta. She was 12 years old when an airstrike by the Syrian Armed Forces devastated her home killing her entire family and damaging her spine, leaving her a paraplegic. After several unsuccessful attempts at different rehabilitation centers Fatima was brought to the Al Bader Center to participate in the Polus Center program for physical and psychological trauma therapy. There she went from being a full paraplegic to moving independently with a walker. Through the art therapy program, Fatima discovered a love for painting and demonstrated exceptional ability. In time she improved socially, she started wearing make up and showed other outward signs of confidence and socially efficacy. Now her ambition is to continue her healing process and to pursue an education.