helped protect Abu and his family.
Abu has been displaced for the fourth time due to the conflict in Syria. He currently resides in Aleppo, in the city of Al-Bab, with his wife. Despite his advanced age, previous open-heart surgery, diabetes, and high blood pressure, he must work as a taxi driver to feed his wife and himself. Here’s his story, in his words.
Abu’s work as a taxi driver puts him at increased risk.
“The difficult conditions as well as the high prices and the difficulty in getting the necessary medicines and supplies, I find myself forced to leave the house and work as a taxi driver and meet a lot of people every day…Whilst I work, my wife goes out to get what we need early before the crowds. Then she comes back and cleans, to preserve our health and our house.”
After losing his farm, home, and community, the virus seems unendurable.
“In the past, in my city, I had my farm, my house, my job … and I was very important in the community. But now… we face displacement and poverty, then the virus comes to make matters worse. This we can’t endure.”
“Because we are elderly, we can’t do anything, trapped in our houses, afraid of spreading the virus. We hear that it is a dangerous disease, and it can’t be treated. If someone feels ill, he deteriorates rapidly. And he may die. Thank God it has not yet spread in the region which we inhabit, however, we try to take all possible precautions, especially after the health team visited us and alerted us to the necessity of that, and gave us information about this disease, how it spreads, and how to save ourselves from it. God willing, we can protect ourselves from the virus, but we face many challenges. We get water by filling water containers.”
Abu has received COVID-19 advice, information, and personal protective equipment.
Age international, our network partner, has worked closely with older people like Abu throughout the pandemic, providing information and advice about the virus, and protective equipment such as masks and referrals.
“As for us, all we wish is for the world to be safe from this virus. Personally, I hope to find the expensive medicines needed to improve our life. We hope the nightmare of the war will be over so we can go back to our cities peacefully.”