Unheard screams of Amara Dwla

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  • 15:37 9 September 2021
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URFA - 13-year-old Amara Dwla who wrote in her diary, "The scream inside of me is swallowing me", was held against her will, forced to marriage and tortured but no one heard her voice.
 
On the night of September 3, 13-year-old Amara Dwla, a Syrian of Palestinian origin, was found torched in her house in Urfa. Taken to the hospital by the medical teams upon the notification of her neighbors, told that she was tortured and set on fire by her father. Amara lost her life 24 hours after she gave her statement.
 
Amara was laid to rest in a cemetery of the nameless, not having anymore relatives. Ahmet Mohammed Dwla was captured and arrested while he was preparing to make a run for it to Syria, with his 12-year-old daughter. 12-year-old L. Dwla was placed in a child welfare institution.
 
Although Ahmet Mohammed Dwla said it was an 'honour killing', the reality proved different when Amara's dairy was found on top of the statements of her neighbors.
 
VIOLENCE, ATTEMPTED MURDER, BODILY INJURY
 
The information obtained reveals that Mohammad Dwla has been involved in many violent incidents before. The family who migrated to Syria from Palestine a few years ago with their two daughters, changed three cities before moving to Urfa. Mohammed Dwla married to 3 different women including Amara's mother with a religious ceremony and used violence against all of them. Mohammed Dwla attempted to murder one of these women. Amara's mother had to escape from him and migrate to Lebennon. 
 
Mohammed Dwla who injured a boy in Hatay claiming he was molesting her daughter, was wanted for the crimes he committed. Moving to Urfa, running away from Syria, Dwla has been living here for the last 4 months. According to the information obtained from his neighbors, the father who worked in construction did not allow his daughters to go outside and he locked them in the house while he was away.
 
AMARA FORCED INTO MARRIAGE IN RETURN FOR A WOMAN FOR HER FATHER
 
The neighbors who shared the information that a Syrian family has been visiting their house frequently with gifts, told that they learned after a while that Mohammed Dwla was forcing Amara into marriage in return for marrying the daughter of the Syrian family. The neighbors also underlined that the man he was forcing Amara to marry was much older than she was and the father demanded 2 thousand liras from the other family to let her daughter marry than man.
 
TRACES OF TORTURE
 
Amara was tortured for a whole month because she did not accept the marriage. The neighbors who even though suspected that might be the case, told that they did not get involved thinking it was 'family issues'. The neighbors told that could not see Amara's face when they were handing over some supplies to support the family, told that Amara was opening the door slightly and looking at them with fear in her eyes while she took the supplies from the neighbors and get back inside. The neighbors stated that they feel regret for not being involved and helping Amara. 
 
After hearing what the neighbors had to say, we went to the house of the Dwla family. The traces of what happened, the traces of torture and the traces of her murder was still visible in the house. The wall of the partition used as a bathroom is adjacent to the storehouse of the bakery on the street. Neighbors think that this is why they did not hear the voice of Amara, who is constantly tortured in the bathroom.
 
The house has nothing but a sofa bed, a mattress, a small radio, a refrigerator, a few kitchen utensils, children's clothes and toys. Neighbors say that the family came to the neighborhood with only a few suitcases and that these items were provided by a few charitable associations. The most striking thing at home are the toys of the children, the pictures Amara drew, the poems she wrote, the lyrics and the notes she took in her diary. Despite being only 13 years old, Amara has changed three cities in three countries and Turkey. Who knows what she went through in this house of only a few square meters. Amara, who did not want to be sacrificed and opposed the marriage her father wanted to make, perhaps knew what awaited her. That's why she stood against her father's insistence, and that's why she was tortured and burned to death.
 
The notes Amara left behind, the story and the lyrics she wrote reveal the weight of her experiences despite her childhood. The notes she took was the represantation of her screams, tortured as a child. 
 
THE STORY OF AMARA
 
In the stories she wrote in her diary, Amara discribed what could happen to her if she were to be wed to that man. Amara wrote a story where she named the main character Safa. Safa charackter who was subjected to violence and forced into marriage by her father, continues to be subjected to torture by her husband in the story. In the story, Safa is a very unhappy woman. The other women in the story, Latife and Zeynep are also unhappy, tortured women.
 
THE SAFA CHARACTER
 
So much so that, in one part of her story, Amara says, “Safa goes out into the street in her short dress and plays in the rain like a child.” Amara who was locked up in a house she describes as prison, who is subjected to constant violence without being able to be heard, continues to hope to be freed one day and get rid of that darkness. Amara wrote, "I am in a very dark place. I feel hurt, but I did not lose hope. I will fly one day even though my wings are broken. No one will be able to stand against me." Again in a note dated July 3, 2021, Amara says, "I am worried that they will deport us. They all say that Syrians salaries are higher than Turks. I am afraid of them attacking us."
 
In one of her handwritten notes, Amara says, "My eyes tell the story of my life. The loneliness inside me is like the waves that capsized my boat. What happened to me? I can't trust anyone. I am in despair. I have melted into the earth and I am lost. I told I was happy but I lied. I was sacrificed on this way. I am alone in the dark. I cry and my tears are like rain fell from the sky. The scream inside of me swallows me. I lost my loved ones. All traces of my life dissappeared. The sadness I experienced deprived me of my dreams. I am tired of what I have been through." 
 
THE RESISTANCE OF AMARA 
 
Amara told in another page, "Amid all the torment, I found neither a safe harbor nor a sense of peace until one day Nur came to visit me. Nur became a light inside me, enlightened me. It tore the darkness in my heart. She told me to start my life and fill my heart with hope. She told me not to just dream but work to make my dreams come true. I wiped the traces of laziness from myself, I tried so I could get what I wanted, even though my boat was back, my sail was safe.”
 
AMARA'S MOTHER
 
Amara wrote the lyrics of a song in her diary, "Mother. You are the peace and you are the trust. Your heart beat is the source of peace. You never complain. You are the medicine of the time and you are the light of my path". She took another note on a page filled with drawings of flowers, "I made myself a promise to protect the innocent and the weak. My will is as unshakeable as the mountains."
 
Amara's final note in her diary was as follows: "Most of the people knows what is right, but does the wrong thing anyway."
 
 
 
MA / Arjin Dilek Öncel
 

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