News / Middle East

    Wounded Syrians Treated at Secret Clinic in Lebanon

    Henry Ridgwell

    Syrians injured in the crackdown on anti-government protests are crossing into Lebanon to seek treatment. They can’t get treatment in Syria because they say hospitals there are often raided by security forces looking for protesters. One secret clinic in the Lebanese city of Tripoli has patients of all ages with horrific injuries from the fighting.

    Amran, 6, is one of the youngest patients in this hospital. He has difficulty walking. When he shows his leg, it’s easy to see why. A chunk is missing from his shin. The hole is surrounded by red scar tissue.

    "I’m here because they shot me,” Amran said. He was fleeing Syria with his mother when security forces opened fire. His mother survived unscathed. Amran will be disabled for life.

    There are many other injured Syrian children at this private Tripoli clinic. The doctors asked us not to identify its whereabouts.

    Patients hide their faces. Many are wounded anti-government protesters. They say if they were identified, their families in Syria would be tortured and killed.

    With his laptop permanently connected to Facebook, Skype and YouTube, one army defector is keeping up his fight from his hospital bed via the Internet - distributing videos from inside Syria.

    He gave us footage of a protest and funeral in Homs. With pride, he says he is the man in white on the shoulders of a friend - in Arabic, the ‘Kashoosh,’ the one who leads the chanting.

    “I’m lucky to have a strong voice, and I’m also musical,” he said. “I used to put all my heart into it, and I used to be the one who used to chant, ‘The people want to downfall of the regime, the people want the regime to go.’''

    His luck ran out four months ago - he was shot at a protest. The man on the bed next to him saved his life and took him on the highly dangerous route to Lebanon.

    “Yes, this is a dangerous thing to do,” he said. “When we joined these protests we said we would either survive or die, that was our motto. I was part of Assad’s army. I defected because of what it did. This army is cruel, they go into people’s homes, it doesn’t matter if it is a child or an old person, the army would kill them.”

    In the neighboring room, more wounded protesters. One shows us the bone fragments removed from his leg after he was shot.

    “This is not sectarian. It’s Assad himself who wants there to be a civil war. He would use that against us,” said the protester. “He’s used everything else - warplanes, artillery. He’s done horrific things. You should see Baba Amr in Homs where I come from, you would cry if you saw how people are surviving.”

    The patients here say they can’t get treatment in Syria because security forces regularly raid hospitals to arrest protesters. They say they are lucky to get treatment in Lebanon.

    For the children in this clinic, luck and fortune have been brutally stolen away, by a conflict that does not discriminate by age.

    You May Like

    Multimedia Obama Calls on Americans to Help the Families of Its War Dead

    In last Memorial Day of his presidency, Obama lays wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery

    The Strife of the Party: Will Trump Permanently Alter Republicans?

    While billionaire mogul's no-holds-barred style, high-energy delivery are what rocketed him to nomination, they also have created rift between party elites and his supporters

    China's Education Reforms Spark Protest

    Beijing is putting a quota system in place to increase the number of students from poor regions attending universities

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Tech Startups Showcase Wares at Amsterdam Conferencei
    X
    Serginho Roosblad
    May 30, 2016 5:11 PM
    More than 20,000 tech enthusiasts, entrepreneurs and lovers of digital technology came together in Amsterdam recently at the Next Web Conference to discuss the latest developments in digital technology, look to the future and, of course, to connect. In recent years, there has been an explosion of so-called startup businesses that have created devices and applications that have changed the way we live; but, as Serginho Roosblad reports for VOA, there are pitfalls for such startups as well.
    Video

    Video Tech Startups Showcase Wares at Amsterdam Conference

    More than 20,000 tech enthusiasts, entrepreneurs and lovers of digital technology came together in Amsterdam recently at the Next Web Conference to discuss the latest developments in digital technology, look to the future and, of course, to connect. In recent years, there has been an explosion of so-called startup businesses that have created devices and applications that have changed the way we live; but, as Serginho Roosblad reports for VOA, there are pitfalls for such startups as well.
    Video

    Video US Military's Fallen Honored With Flags

    Memorial Day is a long weekend for most Americans. For some, it is the unofficial start of summer -- local swimming pools open and outdoor grilling season begins. But Memorial Day remains true to its origins -- a day to remember the U.S. military's fallen.
    Video

    Video Rolling Thunder Rolls Into Washington

    The Rolling Thunder caravan of motorcycles rolled into Washington Sunday, to support the U.S. military on the country's Memorial Day weekend
    Video

    Video A New Reading Program Pairs Kids with Dogs

    Dogs, it is said, are man's best friend. What some researchers have discovered is that they can also be a friend to a struggling reader. A group called Intermountain Therapy Animals trains dogs to help all kinds of kids with reading problems — from those with special needs to those for whom English is a second language. Faiza Elmasry has more on the New York chapter of R.E.A.D., or Reading Education Assistance Dogs, in this piece narrated by Faith Lapidus.
    Video

    Video Fan Base Grows for Fictional Wyoming Sheriff Longmire

    Around the world, the most enduring symbol of the U.S. is that of the cowboy. A very small percentage of Americans live in Western rural areas, and fewer still are cowboys. But the fascination with the American West is kept alive by such cultural offerings as “Longmire,” a series of books and TV episodes about a fictional Wyoming sheriff. VOA’s Greg Flakus recently spoke with Longmire’s creator, Craig Johnson, and filed this report from Houston.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora