Exactly six months ago, little Afraa was miraculously rescued from the rubble, still connected to her umbilical cord and barely clinging to life. Today, she has blossomed into a joyful and thriving six-month-old baby.
The video of rescuing baby Afra touched the hearts of people around the world who were following the news of the devastating earthquake in February last year.
Following days of medical care at a hospital in northern Syria, Afraa was discharged and entrusted to the loving care of her paternal aunt and her husband.
They decided to adopt her and have been providing a nurturing environment, raising her alongside their five daughters and two sons.
Afraa’s adoption process took place after a DNA test was conducted to confirm the biological relationship between her and her aunt, as explained by her adoptive father, Khalil al-Sawadi.
A compelling video capturing the rescue went viral on social media, garnering widespread attention. The rescued baby was promptly taken to a hospital and given the initial name “Ayaa,” which holds the meaning of “miracle” in Arabic.
Her aunt and uncle are raising her along with their seven children in the Syrian town of Jindayris, not far from the Turkish border.
“She’s very still young but she reminds me of her dad and her sister Nawara, especially her smile. They passed away in the earthquake too,” says her uncle, Khalil al-Sawadi, rocking the smiling baby girl in her swing. “They would often spend time at ours. She doesn’t give us a hard time at all.”
On 6 February 2023, earthquake struck southern and central Turkey and northern and western Syria. The epicenter was 37 km west–northwest of Gaziantep.