A new life for Mustafà

An emotional and hopeful story is that of Munzir El Nezzel and Mustafà , father and son, who can hope for a better life in our country. Munzir lost a leg in a bomb attack and his son has no arms ad legs because of the war too. His mum got sick from the nerve gas released during the war in Syria and , while pregnant with him, she had to take medications that caused her son’s disability.

Munzir and Mustafà are in the photo ‘Hardship of Life’ which went viral online, becoming a symbol of the Syrian drama. This photo taken by the Turkish photographer Mehmet Aslan won the International Photography Award in Siena, in 2021.

A solidarity competition started from the city of Siena and 100 thousand euros were collected to face a treatment in the” Vigoroso” Prosthesis Center in Budrio (Bologna). The Festival’s organizers contacted diplomats, hospitals, rehabilitation centers to help this Syrian refugee family.

Mustafà arrived in Italy with his family and now he lives in Siena in a house made available to Caritas, which is providing them with basic needs.

A linguistic mediator has been identified to ensure their integration and a course aimed at teaching the Italian language will also be activated.

After a period of quarantine, the doctors will be able to subject Mustafà and his father to clinical examinations with the hope of being able to apply prostheses that can restore the legs and arms to little Mustafà and the right leg to his father Munzir. Mr. El Nezzel’s treatment is likely to be easier because he is an adult. Working with a 6-year-old child will be more challenging, according to the doctors and engineers of Italy’s leading rehabilitation and prosthetics center.

The father could recover most of his mobility in a few weeks. For Mustafa, the process could be longer, starting with simple prosthetics on his upper limbs that are usually easier to accept and get accustomed to. Later, engineers will design artificial limbs around Mustafa’s hips.

Mustafà and his father are the testimony of a human drama, a direct consequence of the war, of a destructive and cruel madness.

I express so much hope and closeness towards this family that deserves solidarity and love.

I hope everything will be well and that father and son can walk and hug each other.

These human dramas should make us think about what is really important in life … not war, not violence, not hate but love and respect for everyone.

Now that our country has adopted them, we all pray for Mustafà and his chance to live a new and better life.

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Elena Attennante


II B – Furci Siculo


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