Syrian Refugee Speaks — Snipers ‘Shot Us Just for Fun’

Now safe in Turkey, Sanwa Makrash faces a long road to recovery

Syrian Refugee Speaks — Snipers ‘Shot Us Just for Fun’ Syrian Refugee Speaks — Snipers ‘Shot Us Just for Fun’
Sanwa Makrash was walking home with a neighbor when a Syrian regime sniper shot her, hitting her spinal cord. “They shot us just for... Syrian Refugee Speaks — Snipers ‘Shot Us Just for Fun’

Sanwa Makrash was walking home with a neighbor when a Syrian regime sniper shot her, hitting her spinal cord.

“They shot us just for fun,” Makrash said. “Once, where there were no people around to shoot, they shot cats for fun.”

Today, Makrash is 18 years old, lives in Turkey and takes physiotherapy courses at the Hope Medical Center, which provides free treatment for Syrian patients. There is some movement in her legs — a sign her spinal cord was not completely cut, according to physiotherapist Mohamed Kadi.

Refugees have few other options. Syria’s medical infrastructure collapsed with the civil war, and millions of refugees live in Turkey with intermittent or zero employment.

Thousands sustained injuries like Makrash’s — complicated, life-altering wounds involving fractures and neurological damage.

“The need is still huge,” Kadi said.