- 400,000 civilians in Eastern Ghouta have been struggling to survive since 2011
- They cannot access food or medicine and must try to survive with their own resources
- Mahmoud Fadel Ikram and his wife have been trying to return to Pakistan since the war began
- Their families back home do not even know if they are alive
A Pakistani couple trapped in Syria’s besieged Eastern Ghouta district under extremely difficult circumstances dream of returning to their home country.
Around 400,000 civilians in Eastern Ghouta have been struggling to survive since the war in Syria started in 2011.
Due to a regime blockade on the district, they cannot access food or medicine and must try to survive with their own resources.
Mahmoud Fadel Ikram, 72, is one of the thousands of people suffering from the regime siege on Eastern Ghouta.
Along with his 62-year-old wife, Sekral Bibi, Ikram settled in the district’s Jobar neighborhood after coming from Pakistan in 1975 in search of employment.
But when the war started in 2011, their lives fell apart. They now live in a makeshift home, raising poultry and sheep and waiting for help.
“When I come home in the evenings, it’s cold. We heat our home by burning cow dung. We sleep in the same room as the animals,” Ikram says.
- Opinion: The Deliberate Targeting of Civilians Led to the Eastern Ghouta Crisis
- 227 Babies Have Died This Year in Syria's Eastern Ghouta
Saying he wanted to go back to Pakistan as soon as possible, he called on Islamabad to rescue him and his wife from their difficult circumstances.
“Our situation here is very bad. We are under blockade. If the Pakistani government could help, we want them to take us from here,” he added.
“My family [in Pakistan] don’t even know if we are alive,” Ikram said. “I just want them to hear my voice.”
Ikram’s wife, Bibi, also laments the harsh living conditions.
“We can’t find medicine here. As I suffer from various aches, I wake up at night crying,” she said.
Now, the old couple’s only hope is to return to their home country safe and sound.
“I hope the Pakistani government helps us and we can be reunited with my brothers back home,” Ikram said.
Syria has only just begun to emerge from a devastating civil war that began in 2011 when the Assad regime cracked down on pro-democracy protests.
Since then, hundreds of thousands of people have been killed in the fighting and more than 10 million displaced, according to claims by the U.N.
This article has been adapted from its original source.
© Copyright Andolu Ajansi