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A newborn baby is the center of attention in Kamal’s* family. The baby boy, Marwan*, was born in September with jaundice and received needed medical care through the ICMC-Caritas project. Thankfully, he has recovered and now yawns sleepily in his mother’s arms.
The peeling walls and cold cement floor of their one-bedroom apartment in Abu Alanda, in southern Amman, offer few comforts to the young family of seven. The family also suffered the loss of a child earlier this year to a neurological condition.
Kamal, 41, worked as a police officer in the Diyala province of Iraq. He was abducted in 2007 by local insurgents and forced to resign and turn over his weapons. They continued to threaten him by sending him DVDs showing the beheadings of police officers. The police later imprisoned Kamal for failing to return his weapons after his resignation, the same weapons that the insurgents stole when they abducted him. In 2008, his brother was kidnapped and killed. A year later, Kamal and his family moved to Jordan.
Through the ICMC project the family has received milk and diapers for Marwan and enough mattresses and blankets for all the children as well as a fan. ICMC also referred Kamal for psychosocial counseling this summer after he told the ICMC team about his trauma, and he says the counseling has greatly improved his life.
“I would never have thought this would be helpful,” he says. “But I am happy with the sessions and they have also affected how I interact with my family. I feel more alive.”
Text by Laura Ashbaugh / ICMC. Photographs by Andres Morales.