Student Spotlight: Amal Alkhalaf

Student Spotlight: Amal Alkhalaf

Leena Alshawabkeh, Writer

FHS student, Amal Alkhalaf, sheds light on what life was like in the midst of an ongoing war in Syria.

People at FHS may look like any other student here, but others have different stories and messages to share. Take for example, Amal Alkhalaf, a junior at FHS. She was born in Aleppo, Syria and has had many experiences about life there.

There is an ongoing civil war in Syria, and it started when she was only 7 years old. It began with a series of protests in 2011 against the government and president, Bashar al-Assad. The Syrian government was strong enough to counter their protests, resulting in an ongoing civil war.

In Amal’s case, they had to move around all over Syria when it had begun, but in 2013 a turn of events occurred.

It was a normal day for Amal, but that later would turn for the worse. Her family got ice cream from a local ice cream truck and right as she went inside to give her mom and uncle ice cream she didn’t know what else she had just avoided. 

A plane had attacked them. Balls of fire were falling from the plane, they were actually bombs. Her first instinct was to run towards her younger brother, who was age three at the time.

Sadly, three of her siblings had passed away from this, two brothers and one sister. And that completely changed who Amal is, as a person, and how she views life.

Parts of her family that survived this incident were separated. Her dad went to Turkey to support her brother Ahmad, who had survived with serious injuries. Her mom was with her little brothers in Syria, while Amal stayed in Syria with a woman who took good care of her.

But this wasn’t the end. They weren’t going to stay in a position like this. Her dad managed to get two men to push them on a raft from Syria to Turkey so that they could finally reunite.

Her father had gone to the Children’s Hospital in Boston, with Ahmad, leaving her and her family waiting in Turkey for three years. August 1st 2017, was the day she had finally arrived in America. Despite coming here, her story will never change, it is who she is as a person.

This leaves Amal braver than ever. Now, she wants to go to college and become a doctor to help others, like the same people who helped her and her family throughout this.