Rama AlOmari was buying new clothes in Damascus, Syria, with her two daughters Celin, 7, and Lamar Ibrahim, 8, when a bomb fell next to the family. As a result of the shrapnel, Lamar lost her left eye vision, Celin had the upper part of her leg hit and Rama was hit in her hand. The country has been in the midst of a civil war since 2011. After becoming a refugee in 2017, Rama and her family reside in the city of Santo Andre, in the state of Sao Paulo, Brazil, working at the only General Motors mask factory in Latin America.
Rama’s first years in the country were difficult. She spent a long time unemployed, and when she worked in the food service her injured hand would hurt to cook. The family had gone to the hospital many times to treat Rama's mother, who had come to Brazil with the three. Unfortunately, she passed away due to cancer. Now, the family mainly goes to the hospital for Lamar’s eye. Not long ago, she was able to receive a prosthesis with the help of friends and organizations she met in her first years in Brazil.
With the COVID-19 pandemic, public schools have been closed since March of 2020. After some time, the school started giving homework through WhatsApp and sometimes having classes on video calls. While Rama is at work, the kids spend their day at a teacher’s house, doing their homework and studying. The family has been able to adopt the new language and culture fairly easily. However, Rama still keeps her daily prayers and cooks Syrian food.