I was studying education at the University of Damascus when I met my husband Khaldoon. He was in an accident 21 years ago that left him with only the use of his tongue, lips and eyes. Word began to spread around the university about his incredible resilience and how he taught himself fluent English and computer programming. I went to visit him and he offered to tutor me in chemistry. Through my frequent visits, we fell in love and he eventually proposed. He has the most beautiful soul.
We have an 11-year-old daughter named Judy and I am pregnant with a baby girl named Julia. I want a good life for them. Khaldoon supports our family doing remote computer programming as a server administrator through a system where he uses his mouth and tongue on a mouse pad to move the cursor on the computer screen. I was a teacher in Syria before the war.
During the war, we were living in an area near Damascus when a heavy shelling began and the electricity cut off. Khaldoon must be connected 24 hours a day to a breathing machine and mechanisms that support essential life processes. We knew that we could not stay in Syria any longer. In 2013, we set off on the difficult journey out of Syria and arrived in Lebanon. In Lebanon, there are many barriers to accessing medical care and the daily electricity cuts threaten Khaldoon’s life. We hope to move abroad to a place where Khaldoon’s health can be advised, to a place where he can live and breath without constant fear.
My dream is to get my PhD and become the Minister of Higher Education in Syria one day. I believe that education is the foundation of everything, and I want to work to make it strong. For now, I volunteer with various NGOs working with women and children in Lebanon. These Syrian children are the ones who will rebuild Syria one day and put life back into it.
See Khaldoon's website