14 Dec Four Years and Counting: Syrian Refugees in Limbo
Aley, LEBANON: Maamna Al Msalem, 31, with her duaghters, 11-month old Raghdaa and four-year old Maryam. They came from Saaba, outside of Damascus. They left at the beginning of 2012. The father was a carpenter and did cabinetry and similar work.
He lost his mind not long after they arrived in Lebanon. He would routinely walk around town, his fist raised in the air, cursing Bashar and screaming obscenities. Locals made fun of him or beat him up. Eventually, he was hospitalized, where he was diagnosed with an acute neurodegenerative disease. His wife thinks it was the stress of leaving home and being unable to find work to support his family that led to his illness.
She says that when they speak on the phone, she canít understand what he is saying – he doesn;t make any sense. Once, he called, asking about their youngest daughter. He claimed to have seen her murdered. He was in an absolute panic. Now, his wife doesnít answer the phone anymore when he calls. Itís too upsetting. Liam Maloney/Polaris Images