My name is Chirine Khodor. The past years have not been easy. If I had to describe my time since leaving Syria, I would say that I have one good day for every bad month. I try my best to share these good days with my family. When we can, we go to the public beach or for a picnic. It means a lot to be able to spend this time together. I can’t always do the things I want with my family; I work every time there is a request, if I don’t, I won’t earn enough to live and support my family. When I think about my home in Syria, I feel like there is no-one there to go back for. All my family and relatives left, some of them are in Turkey, others in Egypt or Germany. I do want to go home, but the situation is tense and I know my children won’t be safe there. That’s the most important thing – I will stay wherever I know they are safe.
The conditions we live in are difficult, but I thank God that we have our health and we have each other. Even if we only have bread to live on, it’s enough for us.If my husband doesn’t get work, I work as a cleaner for offices or I sell packs of tissues on the roads. When I work, I leave my two youngest with their father and I take Muhammad with me.
Life in Syria was much better for us. I never needed to work, because my husband had a full-time job as a car electrician. But here, life is too expensive; I never have enough money to buy all that my family needs. If neither me or my husband can work, my children will simply have nothing to eat.
When my children get sick I take them to the MSF clinic. When I was pregnant with twins, I had complications and I delivered after eight months. I visited the MSF mother and child care center in Shatila, and they took care of me. My case was complicated because I have anemia, and I had twins, so MSF referred me to a hospital and helped me pay for the incubator where both my daughters stayed for 20 days. But they passed away a few weeks after returning home. (June 2016)