We were in our usual morning sitting after Fajr prayer, the intimate gathering that brings us together every morning in which my husband, Sheikh Abu Abdullah, talks to his sons and daughters. We were talking about what we had done the day before and we were deciding on what we were to do on that day. We used to sit together for two hours every morning to discuss things and this made us feel the happiness of the world in our hands, to talk and share stories about things that happened with each one of us.

Suddenly, my son whispered to me “Mom, I hear a door being dislodged”, he said.

“No, son, I heard nothing,” I replied.

Moments later, the door to our bedroom, where we were all sitting, was pushed. Many security men surrounded us. One of them headed towards my husband, Abu Abdullah, covering his face with his undershirt and dragging him out of the room. Someone caught my eldest daughter – 9 years old and pointed his gun at her head saying to me: “Give me all the money that you have.” I denied having the money with me, but they threatened me with my daughter. So, I opened the closet where I put the money that I saved for traveling to Saudi Arabia for the “Umrah”. The children had also piggy banks where they collected what they saved to go with us to perform the “Umrah”.

I handed them fifty thousand Syrian Pounds, but they were not satisfied. They scattered everything in the closet. They found the children’s piggy banks, so they opened them and took all the money.

The expressions on my children’s faces showed their astonishment and fear. I held my two young daughters, trying not to show fear so that it would not move on them, and the rest of the five sons joined us. Then the security men surrounded us and started circling us while they were pointing their weapons toward us and saying bad words that I wished my children would not understand.

I felt the fear of the security men from us. Even though we were defenseless and they were armed, our weapon was faith in God. His protection for us is stronger than them and their weapons.

When they left, I followed them, carrying my husband’s pants. He was only wearing underpants, but they refused to give my husband his pants.

They dragged my husband and forced him into the car.

I looked out the window. I saw a tank, a cannon, and men spread around the house, pointing their weapons toward us.

The car headed to the Military Security headquarters, which is about a ten-minute walk from our house.

When the car went far away, safety went far from our lives.

After I moved away from the window, my sister-in-law and her sick brother told me they had entered their room before and threatened their eighty-year-old mother with death if they made a sound to warn us before they attacked us in our room.

My five children and I kept waiting for my husband to come back. But my sense was telling me he would never return…

I started working to support my children and to help them complete their studies. I tried to make up for the father’s absence, but his absence was irreplaceable.

He was kind and gentle in the way he dealt with me, his children, and his family.

He was the father who takes care of his children and worked more than one job to provide them with a decent life. He was the righteous son of his sick mother and his brothers.

My two little girls, who did not live with their father, often wondered about his existence and the meaning of the word “Dad”. While my three sons, who had known and lived with their father for a while before that horrible day, wondered how I will manage their affairs in the absence of their father and how I would support their education and secure their needs.

I always assure them that God will be with us when we are together

The kids grew up…

And I was that strong woman who could preserve her home and her children. I taught them that some people deprived them of their rights, and deprived them of their father, so they must seek justice that must avenge their father’s killer. It might take a long time, but they and their children will not forget their father and his killer.

Later I was arrested, perhaps because I am the Sheikh’s wife.

My arrest had a story that I will tell it later, but it made me think of leaving my village and my country for a safe country.

I was like a mother cat carrying her children from one place to another. I took all of them discreetly until I could reach Turkey safely.

I continued my studies and worked. I did not tell anyone in my surroundings that my husband is a martyr and that my children are orphans. They thought he was living in another country; they also thought that I was living as a happy woman and a happy mother and that I did not suffer like other mothers from loss, arrest, and displacement.

I was suffering silently, and I did not reveal my sorrows to anyone but God. I was praying to Him at night. I prayed to Him to protect my children and preserve them for me and to strengthen me to continue until I see them have finished their education and started their steps in the journey of their lives.

My eldest daughter got married, and I hope to see the joy of all my children and enjoy the company of my grandchildren.

I will tell them the stories of their grandfather and the awaited justice.

Joining the Association of Caesar Families and becoming a member of this association that includes people like me, who suffered loss and deprivation, but set goals for their lives that fulfill their martyrs’ rights and perform their duty towards them, strengthened me and made me proud.

They raised their voice until it reached international organizations and the United Nations and are asking about those who were forcibly disappeared and are tirelessly searching for the graves of their martyrs so they can take the bodies to bury them in graves worthy of their humanity and their dignity.