After a chemical weapon exploded near his home in war-torn Syria, Yousef Alkurdi said boredom and isolation were just as overwhelming as the injuries he spent three years recovering from in a Lebanese hospital.
Speaking through translator Eman El Halies, an administrative assistant at Pathways Skill Development and Placement Centre who’s helping the Syrian refugee and his family adjust to their new lives in London, Alkurdi said he needed over seven surgeries within the first six months of his lengthy hospital stay.
No one was allowed to enter his room because of the chemicals,” El Halies said. “He was totally isolated for the first six months and then after that, to keep himself sane, he asked them to bring him wax and soap.”
Most people stuck in a hospital bed might not find much comfort in those items but for Alkurdi, an experienced wood carver who said he has been working with his hands since he was 14 years old, they meant a reprieve from the loneliness of his room and an opportunity to work with materials he was unfamiliar with.
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