Rasha once lived a peaceful life with her daughter in the southern Syrian city of Suwayda. Coming from a modest Christian background, her family experienced economic hardship, leading her husband to travel abroad and seek better opportunities to support his family. Rasha remained back home with her daughter not realizing that the peace they once enjoyed was coming to a bitter end.
Dark clouds were looming over Suwayda in 2011 when thousands of protestors took to the streets nationwide demanding the resignation of the dictator. A few months later, violence broke out and a bloody civil war of unpresented proportions erupted.
Rasha’s hometown was quickly transformed into a battlefield pitching rebels against regime forces. Unfortunately, her home was located in the center of the madness and became one of the most strategic outposts on the frontline. The rooftop of her house was ideal for snipers taking aim at their enemies, who repeatedly returned fire. With daily clashes erupting, Rasha and her daughter were now living in constant terror.
To make things worse, several attempts were made to sneak into their home. Rasha was so terrified that she even made plans to commit suicide with her daughter should radical Islamists succeed in taking them hostage. She was horrified by the thought that her young daughter could possibly become a sex slave for barbaric beasts, and thus Rasha was ready to make the ultimate sacrifice if needed.
As months passed by, Rasha became paralyzed with fear and was too scared to leave her home. When she ventured out to get food and other essentials, she made sure that the cross she wore was well hidden. Christian women had become a favorite target for Islamist fighters who would not hesitate to rape and murder them.
After realizing that Rasha was Christian and living alone with her daughter, a group of fighters attempted to kidnap her. Fortunately, she managed to escape, but the assailants kept threatening her and eventually followed her daughter to school where they attempted to kidnap her as well. Her daughter became traumatized and started having panic attacks especially after she kept receiving threats of murder and rape.
Eventually, Rasha lost hope in ever restoring the lives they once had. Despite the risks involved, she made the bold decision to leave her hometown and country. Through her pastor in Syria, Rasha reached out to TNF and requested assistance in escaping from the nightmare she was living in. TNF operatives responded promptly and began preparing for an extraction mission. The operation was highly risky since the team had to go through dangerous combat zones and areas occupied by gunmen and terrorists.
However, despite all the risks, Rasha and her daughter were successfully carried across the border to neighboring Iraq. They are currently in a secure area and will remain under the protection and care of TNF until they are safely relocated overseas.