World

Syrian Man Walks In On His Own Funeral

| by Maura Turcotte

After Mohammed Rayhan failed to return after a bomb went off in Douma, Syria, his family assumed he was dead — so they were shocked when they held his funeral and Rayhan came through the front door.

Rayhan was at the market in Douma, a suburb of Damascus, on Aug. 16 when government forces shelled the area. Currently, the death toll stands at 117 — 16 of whom are children, reports The Independent.

After he did not come home later that day, his family believed he must have died in the bombing. They began mourning Rayhan with the traditional three-day period of mourning.

About 36 hours after the bombs went off, Rayhan woke up under rubble. He pulled himself out and made his way home, still covered in dust. As he walked into his house, his mourning family rejoiced at his return.

As the director of the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights explained, stories like Rayhan’s are common.

“Lots of people go missing, get lost in rubble, and only turn up later,” Rami Abdurrahman told The Independent. “It often happens with children — I have heard of 3-year-old children who have been mourned by their families and then found alive in rubble.”

In response to the most recent bombings, leaders around the globe have come out to denounce Syrian President Bashar Assad’s government,

Stephen O’Brien, the United Nations' most senior humanitarian official, stated that the “attacks on civilians are unlawful, unacceptable and must stop. I am particularly appalled by reports of airstrikes causing scores of civilian deaths and hundreds injured.”

The Guardian reports U.S. State Department spokesman John Kirby said: “Yesterday’s air strikes, following its other recent market bombings and attacks on medical facilities, demonstrate the regime’s disregard for human life.”

The Syrian conflict has claimed the lives of at least 250,000 people and left up to four times that number injured

Despite the condemnations of the bombing in rebel-held Douma, the Syrian regime stands by the attack, stating it was a response to explosions in Damascus last week that took the lives of six people, The Independent reports.

Sources: The Independent, The Guardian / Photo credit: Screenshot via The Independent