Stories

Doorstep Of The War

Hıven OSMAN, 44-year old, mother of two children.

The story of Hıven and her family begins again together with the civil war experienced in Syria. First, her husband leaves and goes, then they leave alone together with her two children. Then, when she receives the news of death of her husband, the long journey of Hıven to obscurity starts. First, they reach the town of El Azez of Syria, then Gaziantep at the end of the journey taking fourteen hours together with her mother, sister and two children. And they reach Mersin where they will lead the remaining of their life.

The brothers of her husband rent an empty and ruin house first. Thereafter, they have beds on which they will sleep and some pots and pans in which they will cook their meal with the help of some of their neighbors. She keeps her house with thirty five liras by working 14 hours a day going to daily garden works. When garden owners do not give her money, she leaves there quarrelling with them. When they are stuck in a difficult situation as a family, the elder sister of Hıven is required to get married to a man who is 60 years old alleged to be wealthy together with the efforts of persuasion of people around them and they move to their new house.

Having found a job in a factory, Hıven keeps up her home with 700 liras a month. Amid all the hardships she experiences, she loses her mother this time. When there is no one who is to look after her children with passing away of her mother, the mother of the home remains in a position in which she is unable to work. And she is afraid of leaving her children alone in the neighborhood where safety problem is experienced.

The war leaves many hardships and deaths before its doorstep. In the middle of all that hardship, she encounters with the discriminating acts of local people as with thousands of refugees. In the morning of the nights at which she goes to her bed with all the tiredness of the day, she finds garbage heaps near the houseplants broken in front of her door and the edge of these acts performed for her to move away from the neighborhood gets dirty with the dirtiest face of discrimination as the day passes. The weight on her shoulders increases together with the sweats dripping from her forehead when she removes the dead cats thrown in front of her door in the mornings.

They live on the Red Crescent’s aid for a while. She only wants her children to go to school and to eat their fill in a warm house. Hıven’s path crosses with the CfW Project of Yuva Association to which she applies upon hearing it from the siblings of her husband in Mersin.

For Hıven having worked at the Culture Center of the municipality for about six months, working at this work to which she is able to take her children with her energizes her life. Struggling in the middle of the war and immigration with her woman identity, Hıven answers the question “what has changed in your life with the project?” like this: “Before starting to this job, I had seen very bad sides of the people of this country; however, I entered in close relation with local people at the place at which I work this much for the first time. My Turkish friend, who is a project worker at the place at which I work, brought vacuum cleaner and items from her house to me. I obtained some clothing for me and my kids from the Charity Bazaar in the Culture Center. Everybody in the center helped me; officials bought a refrigerator for my home. I made social circle here and made many friends. Above all, I am able to keep up my home and look after my children with the money I earn. Thanks to my own earning, I stand on my own legs and do not need anybody. Thanks to the project, I made an honorable life reaching a social life and standing on my own legs and being able to take care of my children and leading an honorable life are very good. I feel myself strong.”

Just to spite the deaths left by the war in front of the door, strengthening women, strengthening people plant the life into soils in flowerpots.

Written by:
Gülsüm Güngör | Social Worker
CFW – Mersin