I am from Aleppo. I lived part of my childhood in Akhtarin town in Aleppo countryside. I come from a conservative environment, and my father is strict and hard, so he did not allow me to continue my studies after the sixth grade. My mother is passionate; she loves me and I love her very much; so are my sisters and little brother, but I hate my father and I am not ashamed to admit it. I was good at school and loved it. I knelt before his feet and kissed them to allow me to continue my studies, but he remained adamant, not recognizing my right to go out the house.

When I was twelve or thirteen years old, I made acquittance with a guy who showed me tenderness and interest. He spoiled me and he used to bring me gifts. When my father discovered this relationship, he punished me hard, hit me, cursed me and shouted at me, then locked me in a room and deprived me of food for two weeks. After one week in the room, he moved me to be locked down in the bathroom then to a tiny warehouse. My mom used to give me food behind his back when he was not around, and sometimes put me out of my confinement, so he would change the place of my detention as soon as he found out.

The detention punishment only ended when a man came and officially asked to marry me. My father agreed, even though the man was thirteen years older than me, and I was fourteen years old when I got married. So, my husband took me with him to the place he was living in in Aleppo, at a time I was a child, not knowing the meaning of marriage and its responsibilities.

I can say that nothing has changed for me. I moved from my father’s oppression to my husband’s, for he was a cruel person with whom I lived a very difficult life full of problems and quarrels. After ten months only, I gave birth to my first child, and when I was nineteen I had already four children. I had no choice to separate from him, because my father threatened to kill me and deprive me of my children if I did.

Warning: this story contains distressing details about war
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