Muhammad Lamine told Sky News Arabia: “The journey of treatment for cancer has sharpened my resolve to participate in any opportunity that I have to help people live.”
“I will die of heartbreak”
Mohamed Lamine’s adventure with the Civil Defense began about 10 years ago as a volunteer, but his suffering with malignant disease and a cycle of chemotherapy plunged him into a state of despair, frustration, and isolation from the world for several months.
Today, after he was able to overcome the danger stage thanks to some friends, Muhammad Lamin decided not to miss any opportunity to save the soul of any human being on earth, although he is still continuing his treatment to this day.
Muhammad traveled to Syria to participate in rescuing the victims of the earthquake that shook the country a few days ago and caused great human and material losses.
He recounts the beginning of the experience: “At first, the president of the Crescent refused my request, because I was sick, but she finally agreed when I told her: If I do not travel, I will die of heartbreak.”
Indeed, the protection agent was able to obtain a permit to travel to be part of the “search and rescue” faction, which was in the first ranks to recover the victims and body parts.
The Algerian team consisted of 5 factions, namely: the search and rescue faction, the psychologists faction, the volunteers faction, the logistics faction, and the security and intervention faction.
7 days in Aleppo
Lamin recently returned from a journey he described as “extraordinary” in his professional path, after he participated in the mission to save the lives of earthquake victims in Syria.
Muhammad Lamine remembers the simplest details of the 7-day trip to Syria, from Algiers airport to Damascus airport, a city he never expected to visit in such circumstances.
As soon as the plane landed on the floor of Damascus airport, he began to discover the extent of the suffering of a country, and he had only heard about blood, war and bullets for 10 years.
Muhammad Lamine says, “I was very impressed when I saw the buildings that still bear witness to the war, and we are on our way to search for survivors under the earthquake’s bottom.”
He recounts the moments of his arrival in the Al-Masharqa neighborhood in Syria, which was subjected to the great earthquake, by saying: “We found that many buildings were demolished, or threatened to collapse due to the strength of the earthquake that struck them.”
He added, “The process of searching for survivors was not easy at all, given the location of the area near a river and water leakage into the buildings and the surroundings of the landfill. The structures were fragile because of the water, which caused their collapse.”
…and the joy of saving the first soul
In the Al-Mashareqa neighborhood of Aleppo, Syria, Muhammad Lamin and his companions, with the help of the Syrian Civil Defense, managed to extract 27 victims, including a child and a man, alive.
The cries of that 5-year-old Syrian girl are still ringing in his ear until now, as she addresses the rescuers, “Amo, Amo”, without understanding what exactly happened.
Muhammad Lamine says: “Before we could save this child, we had reached the stage of despair, after we dug for more than 4 meters under the rubble, where the child was buried, but God’s will gave her life.”
And the image of that 55-year-old man who was rescued after more than 20 hours of being under the rubble, along with his wife who died, remains one of the most difficult moments that Muhammad Lamin remembers with great sorrow. Under the rubble, they also found the body of a mother who was cradling her children.
Muhammad Lamine says: “The situation is indescribable. We were pulling out torn hands, and sometimes heads stuck between stones, and body parts, amid the stench of corpses that was spreading everywhere.”
After 7 days, during which Mohamed Lamine and his companions lived through difficult human moments, in the midst of cold, fatigue, tears and joy, they returned to Algeria with memories that it seems will never be erased from their minds.
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