Many Syrian women, mainly those from Deir Ezzor and Al-Raqqa, know well the meaning of this word, but why?
40-years-old Om Ali will tell us why. She says, “I am a mother of four children and my husband has travelled somewhere. I am living as a refugee in the Suleiman Shah Refugee Camp near the Turkish city of Urfa, which consists of many displaced families from Deir Ezzor.”
Om Ali says, “When we were living in the eastern countryside of Deir Ezzor, we toured and moved between all villages in our regions without being afraid of anyone, as the FSA were in control of our region. We took our children to hospitals and went shopping without facing any harassment. However, after the black bats arrived (she refers to Daesh) our situation became unbearable.”
She continues, “They first began by the imposing of their Islamic dress code on women and then they asked them to be always accompanied by a mahram (an unmarriageable kin with whom sexual intercourse would be considered incestuous, a punishable taboo).”
She adds, “After the situation became insufferable and insupportable in Deir Ezzor province, we fled to Turkey and sought refuge in a refugee camp where the administration asked us to be accompanied by a mahram too. Even if we had to go to the hospital, we always needed a mahram with us.”
When she was asked about how is she dealing with the current situation in that camp, she replied by stating that she always needs someone who buys her some stuff from outside the camp in return of an amount of money. However, the most difficult issue she is facing is that she cannot take her child who is ill to the hospital, no matter how dangerous his situation is.
She continues and says, “My situation is not as severe as those of other women residing in the same camp. One day, a woman was about to die while giving birth to a newborn baby and they did not permit her to go to hospital alone without a mahram.”
She sumps up her situation by saying, “we did not expect from a country like Turkey, which is trying to be part of the European Union, to impose mahram on women living in this refugee camp, which is the only one in Turkey that follows such an unbearable policy.”