Jomaa, 53
Bekaa Valley, Lebanon

“Before the war, I had a good life”

Jomaa, 55 years old, is from Homs, in Syria. In 2014, he sustained a shoulder injury when his home city was bombed. He and his family have been refugees in Lebanon since 2016 and he receives rehabilitation physiotherapy from Handicap International. 

“In Syria, before the war, I had a good life,” recalls Jomaa. “I first worked as a farmer, then I started my own car rental business. It was my last profession before war broke out in Syria and I was injured.” As a refugee in Lebanon Jomaa can no longer work. His two teenage sons provide for the whole family.

I remember the day I was injured very clearly,” adds Jomaa in between two rehabilitation exercises. “We were in the street, in Homs, with my wife and daughter. The bombing started and I was hit in the shoulder by shrapnel. I was immediately taken to hospital for treatment. But two years later, the after-effects are still very present.” Mohamad, a Handicap International physiotherapist, shows him the right way to move his shoulder to get back its full use and movement.

Thank goodness the NGOs are there to help us,” sighs the father of three. “I arrived in Lebanon eight months ago, because it was no longer possible to live in my home city. Without all these organisations working with Syrian refugees, we could not survive, because we left absolutely everything behind us,” he concludes, sat on a tiny sofa, the only piece of furniture in the rundown garage where he now lives with his family.