Sami Farraj

Courage, resilience, and hope for a better future


Sami Farraj

Born in Ihnken a small village in Southern Syria, Sami Farraj lived there with his parents and older brother until the spring of 2011 when Syrian Armed Forces entered their village. 

At 8 years old Sami and his older brother fled the violence to a safe zone village further south where he lived until it too was targeted. The bomb that fell from the airplane overhead killed 2 of his young cousins and although Sami survived, the blast badly injured both of his legs. Rushed to a nearby field hospital set up in an abandoned school, where, in what had recently been a classroom, both of his legs were amputated. 


In 2013 fearing the return of Armed Forces, and seeking additional relief from the shooting pains in his residual limbs, Sami and his brother traveled to Jordan and the Za'atari camp. It was there that he encountered ADT and the Polus Center and began his rehabilitation. Sami underwent 2 additional surgeries and began the physical and psychological therapy to prepare him for the prosthesis. It was through the psychological trauma therapy program that Sami discovered his love of painting. 


Sami has produced many paintings since then. Some are dark depictions of the trauma he experienced, others reveal the strong connection to family, newfound love, and hope, Sami says that working with the colors of the paints gave him the first feeling since his injury that his life was worth living. 


Sami continues to find joy in his painting. He also loves the theater, and he has performed in several productions at a theater in the Za'atari camp. His dream is to become a lawyer, a painter, or a theater artist.

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