This #WorldHumanitarianDay Islamic Relief is advocating for civilians trapped in war zones; for mothers that have held their dying children in their arms, children who dream of going to school, and doctors who struggle to save lives with insufficient resources, these are the people that are affected, and they need our help and protection.

Sign the petition at worldhumanitarianday.org to reaffirm that civilians caught in conflict are #NotATarget.

Maher Shaar, Aid Worker, Syria

“Every morning I am facing a  humanitarian mission more difficult than the previous day as the situation deteriorates and the Syrian crisis becomes more complicated. In my second month with Islamic Relief, I had to deliver medical aid to hospitals in the countryside. When we reached the area we heard the sound of bombing and I started to worry. We did not have enough time and had to move as quickly as possible to deliver the medical aid to hospitals.

“Delivering the aid under jet fighters and amid the sounds of nearby explosions was terrifying. I asked myself a question: Should we continue or move back? It was the first time I have felt so close to death.”

Yaman (12), Aleppo

“Last year, while we were at home, an explosion shook the ground and the ceiling and bricks started falling on me and my family. We couldn’t find my little sister; she was buried under the rubble. I didn’t want to lose her like I lost my father, who was killed by a sniper on his way home from work. The rescuers managed to dig her out and she was in a critical condition for a long time.

“Our house is now destroyed and all our happy memories are lost under it. I really wish my dad could come back and my home could still be here. I want to carry on my education so that I can become an engineer and rebuild my house, my school and my country.”

Sabha Salih Yaseen (35), Mosul

Single mother Sabha Salih Yaseen lives with her two sons in West Mosul, Iraq.

When their house was destroyed by a bomb that landed nearby, Sabha and her sister and children ran for their lives with severe injuries, petrified that they would be killed at any moment.

“We didn’t eat anything for 10 days and fell into an extreme despair. One of my boys just stopped talking because of the trauma. I often have nightmares now. Life has very little meaning for us anymore.”

Salem Jaafar Baobaid, Project Coordinator – Emergency Food Assistance, Islamic Relief Yemen

“I have been working as an aid worker for Islamic Relief in Yemen since 2010.

“In mid-2015, our neighbourhood was bombed and became a ghost town overnight. My wife lost her ability to speak and remained that way for almost a week. Within a year we were forced to move four times in an attempt to find somewhere safe to live, but as the bombings became more and more frequent and widespread, this became impossible.

“My children were traumatised and my wife’s health dramatically worsened during this time. Her illness could have been cured with 18 months of continuous medical treatment but the drugs were not always available. Doctors said she also needed rest and no stress, but how could she live a stress-free existence in the reality that was our life? She suffered for two years and then passed away.

“She was a loving wife, mother and everything to me. Her death has left a deep grief in my heart that will be there for the rest of my life.”

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