My name is Adam II*. I am 21 years old and I am a team leader of a Civil Defense in Idlib, Syria. Before I started saving lives I studied topography at the University — that was another life.
In Civil Defense our goal is protect lives and people see us as the saviours of life. This is all what we work for. This what we do every day. When we wake we wake up the morning, we go and check on the places those were hit by the shelling, to rescue as many people as we can. I have to be the first on this as leader. When you go on a rescue mission you see lots of suffering, destruction, grief and panicked children. It is not easy to see all this, but when you save someone’s life you feel wonderful, so you do the best you can to find survivors. I also have to check on the team during and after each mission, to make sure they are safe and protect them from danger; we don’t want them to get hurt as they are the ones who help people. Finally, I secure food for the team.
Civil defence volunteers in Idleb have a great value in peoples’ hearts, and they respect us because of our humanitarian role, we are not fighting or hurting others. When you help people to retain their hope they will never forget what you’ve done for them. It’s easy to kill someone but the most wonderful thing is to rather save lives.
I have a seven year old sister. I worry for her every day. My little sister went to school one day to find out that one of her dear friends wasn’t there anymore. After every incident, she returns home wondering where her friends are, and what’s happening. Our children are experiencing loss of their classmates, at a very young age — living in such circumstances where the boom of explosions are heard continuously. There are children who woke up to find their parents dead, or to find themselves trapped under rubbles. Everything I thought about was playing football or games, children now are just thinking about is playing with weapons or acting as if they carry one. When children grow up in a war zone, war influences them.
* Adam II is a pseudonym the writer requested to protect their identity.
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