Syrian baby born under earthquake rubble turns 6 months, happily surrounded by her adopted family

by Chloe Baker
fokus keyword Syrian baby

A baby girl named Afraa, who was miraculously born amid the wreckage of her family’s home destroyed during the powerful earthquake that struck Turkey and Syria six months prior, is now thriving and full of joy. After surviving 10 grueling hours under the rubble, she was discovered alive, still attached to her mother by the umbilical cord, following the Feb. 6 quake that tragically claimed the lives of her parents and four siblings in Jinderis, northern Syria.

Her astonishing survival captured hearts worldwide, and many people offered to adopt her. After a brief stay in a north Syrian hospital, Afraa was handed over to her paternal aunt and her husband. A DNA test was performed to confirm the biological relationship, and her adoptive father, Khalil al-Sawadi, along with his family of five daughters and two sons, embraced her as their own.

The little girl’s joy was evident on Saturday as she swung on a red swing, pushed by al-Sawadi, who lovingly refers to Afraa as his own daughter. They reside in a rented apartment but often spend the night in a tent settlement, as the children remain traumatized by the earthquake that caused more than 50,000 fatalities in southern Turkey and northern Syria.

The UN’s humanitarian agency reports over 4,500 deaths and 10,400 injuries in northwest Syria due to the 7.8 magnitude earthquake and subsequent aftershocks. Women and girls accounted for 43% of the injured, and children aged five to 14 made up 20%. The quake heavily affected rebel-held northwestern Syria, home to around 4.5 million people, many already displaced by the 12-year conflict that has caused half a million deaths.

Afraa’s adoptive father vows to one day share with her the harrowing tale of her rescue and the loss of her biological family. She was initially named Aya, meaning “a sign from God,” at the hospital, but her aunt’s family later renamed her Afraa, honoring her late mother. Shortly after Afraa’s arrival, her adoptive mother gave birth to a daughter, Attaa, and has been nursing both children.

Al-Sawadi reveals that Afraa spends much of her time drinking milk and sleeping, and he has declined offers to move abroad, wishing to remain in Syria where Afraa’s parents once lived. The baby girl’s appearance reminds the family of her father and sister, filling them with both happiness and memories of her lost loved ones.

The poignant story was reported from Beirut by ___ Mroue.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about fokus keyword Syrian baby

Who is baby Afraa?

Afraa is a baby girl who was born under the rubble during a deadly earthquake that hit Turkey and Syria. She survived 10 hours under the debris after the earthquake on Feb. 6 killed her parents and siblings. She was later adopted by her paternal aunt and her husband.

Where was Afraa found?

Afraa was found in the northern Syrian town of Jinderis, under the rubble of her family home, 10 hours after the earthquake struck.

How did the world react to Afraa’s story?

Afraa’s story captivated the world, and people from all over offered to adopt her, reflecting a global outpouring of sympathy and compassion.

Who adopted Afraa and how was she integrated into the family?

Afraa was adopted by her paternal aunt and her husband, Khalil al-Sawadi, after a DNA test confirmed their biological relation. She has been lovingly embraced by the family, including five daughters and two sons.

What happened to Afraa’s biological parents and siblings?

Her biological parents and four siblings were crushed to death by the earthquake in the northern Syrian town of Jinderis.

What details are known about the earthquake itself?

The devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck Turkey and northern Syria in the early hours of Feb. 6, followed by multiple aftershocks. It caused more than 50,000 deaths in southern Turkey and northern Syria and left many injured.

How is Afraa’s daily life described?

Afraa is described as being in good health, enjoying her time, and loving her adopted family. She likes to smile and spends much of her day drinking milk and sleeping. Her adoptive father says she reminds them of her late biological family.

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Tom H. August 5, 2023 - 11:02 pm

its really hard to read somthing like this and not feel emotional. How can a little baby survive such a tragedy. I wish her all the best with her new family.

Linda R. August 6, 2023 - 2:59 am

Makes me think about whats important in life. Life is so fragile yet this story shows strength and love beyond understanding.

James T. August 6, 2023 - 12:35 pm

I cant believe the baby survived for so long under the rubble, Truly a miracle! God bless the family that took her in.

Kevin J. August 6, 2023 - 5:45 pm

I read about this when it first happened but didn’t know the full story, Afraa’s story is a real life testament to human resilience, and her adoptive family is just amazing.

Maria G. August 6, 2023 - 6:40 pm

This is such a touching story. It’s really heartwarming to see that even in times of disaster, people come together to help each other. thanks for sharing!


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