Try to See the Positive Side of Life

“I was exhausted emotionally, before this activity; I was seeing myself useless because I was constantly thinking about the past. I was thinking about the students of mine that I trained as a sports instructor. I was stuck in the past. I couldn't feel the power in myself anymore.  But, after this activity, I felt that I could do something, and my tiredness was just gone” these are the words of Salahaddin, a Syrian migrant who lives with his two children and his wife in Şanlıurfa, Turkey. 

A piece of shrapnel from the explosion got lodged in his spinal cord in 2017, and he lost his walking ability. He couldn't go to the hospital for 4 days after that accident because it wasn't easy to access that kind of services, because of that his wound got worse. He decided to immigrate to Turkey with his family after that tragedy, but it wasn't easy for economic reasons and they managed to arrive in September 2020, "When we arrived, I was so relieved, we were constantly on the run from battle, after 10 years of conflict, we were finally in a safe place," Salahaddin said. 

In the early years of his life, at the age of 14, Salahaddin dropped out of school and began earning money because his family was quite big, and he decided to support them economically. He worked as a workman; he was a sports trainer at the gym at the same time, the sport was going to be a significant part of his life. "The old days were so pleasant, the happiest memories in my mind right now are having family dinners and sharing time with my mother and siblings. Life, for us, was stable and secure" he explained. 

When they arrived in Turkey, nobody was familiar to them, it was very hard, life was more secure, but there were always obstacles. He had the chance to participate in one of the IOM-organized PSS activities. The name of the event was "Sports Club for People of Determination" and all participants were using wheelchairs like him. "Because of COVID19, there have been lockdowns, but I and people like myself experience a constant lockdown, I'm always at home, I can't go out regularly. I prefer to go out when there are fewer people outside because people see me as a person to be avoided" he said. 

Salahaddin had a chance to meet new people, get socialized and he found an opportunity to do his profession again. He has a group of friends online, and he creates training videos for them to motivate and encourage them. “There have been significant benefits for me, I have the chance to do my job again" he spoke. 

Salahaddin may have a chance to walk again; he said there is a surgery that is the fifty-fifty success rate, "Even 1 percentage of possibility was enough for me, and now there is 50 per cent is way more than that" he continued. He hopes one day he can walk again, and he also intends to do more sports events like ping pong tournaments with his friend group. Finally, he emphasized that it is necessary to make an effort to see the positive side of life and said that this made everything more meaningful.