At the beginning of the winter of 2014, on the 16th of November, we woke up early and my husband, Khaled, helped me boil eggplants to make makdous, a favourite Syrian breakfast food. He helped me with everything, especially the makdous because he loved it. Then, he changed his clothes and went with his brother Yasser to his job at the grain institution of the Ministry of Agriculture. At the time, the Syrian Army was heavily deployed in the streets and public places. As my husband and his brother passed through a checkpoint, they were asked to show their ID cards. Since my husband, Khaled, did not have any political activity and did not even participate in peaceful demonstrations, he brought the ID cards to the checkpoint without fear, but the soldier at the checkpoint returned Yasser's card and asked my husband to stay with them.
His brother was surprised and he asked why, but the soldiers told him to walk away and threatened to arrest him too.
I tried to call him to make sure he got to work safely, but his phone was off. I carried on my daily routine with mounting anxiety, as I prepared Ahmad's favourite winter food, the makdous. The next day his brother's family came and told me that my husband, Ahmad, had been arrested. They tried to give me hope that he would be released the next day because there was no justification for his arrest, telling me any judge who would view his case would acquit him. However, this proved to be a fantasy as he forcibly disappeared, and we did not hear his voice or know where he was detained. We did not even know whether he was presented to a judge or not.
The years went by with tremendous difficulty, and after I collapsed for a while, I was able to pull myself together again and focus on my children. However, this did not last. After my son Yahya started going to university, at the Faculty of Law, he was repeatedly threatened with arrest by a checkpoint on his way to the university, and he was forced to leave his university for fear of arrest. However, he was killed in 2016 by a shell fired from the Syrian Army's military barracks.
My young son, Nabil, and I remained alone and consoled each other. As I became afraid that the Assad Regime's oppression would take him away from me, killing or arresting him, forced displacement was the only option before us. We abandoned the Regime-controlled areas to the north of Syria where the Regime kept shelling and bombarding us to this day without deterrence.
I always felt helpless towards my husband, Khaled, until I joined the Families for Freedom. Now, I feel that my voice is getting stronger and louder when I join the voices of many who have lost their loved ones to arbitrary detention and forced disappearance. We work together and wait for the hour of justice and the release of my husband and all detainees.