International Women’s Day is celebrated on March 8 around the world, but it means nothing to Muna Abban, a resident of Aleppo, Syria, who lost two of her children in an airstrike carried out by the Bashar al-Assad regime.
One of the countless victims of Syria’s civil war, which is approaching its 10th anniversary, she laid a daughter and son to rest six years ago.
Her family, who survived the siege of Aleppo in 2016, emigrated to Azez district on the border between Syria and Turkey and began living in a container city.
Abban works for her family’s livelihood due to her husband’s illness. In the remaining time, she takes care of her 16-year-old disabled son, Mustafa.
Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Abban said that she and her family are trying to hold on to life in a two-room container home in Azez.
Saying that women in Syria are forgotten, she said: “It's been a long time since we celebrated Women's Day. International Women's Day doesn’t mean anything to us. It’s difficult to live in a war environment in Syria.”
"It’s even more difficult to live as a woman. Many women lost their husbands in the civil war.”
Underlining that Women’s Day has no value in Syria, Abban said: “Women's Day is celebrated nicely in various parts of the world, but everyone forgot about us.”
"They do not know what difficulties we are experiencing. We want women around the world to remember Syrian women.”
Abban said she is constantly worried about her disabled son, who requires special attention.
Saying she missed her home in Aleppo, she described some of the living conditions in the container city.
"One of my children is disabled and always needs care. He turned 16, but I still care for him like a baby. I feed and diaper him. At the same time, I work at a handicraft center in a camp 5 kilometers [3.1 miles] away from where I live."
Abban shares her experience in handicrafts at the center with women who lost their husbands, adding she is happy with her job despite the difficulties.