Munzir al-Nazzal and son Mustafa arrive in Rome to start a new life | Photo: ANSA / Telenews
Munzir al-Nazzal and son Mustafa arrive in Rome to start a new life | Photo: ANSA / Telenews

Munzir and Mustafa, a Syrian father and son, both missing limbs due to the war in their home country and featured in a now-well-known photo entitled 'Hardship of Life', are starting a new life in Italy, where they arrived Friday with their family.

Their new life in Italy is due in part to an iconic photo seen around the world, which has become symbolic of the tragedy of the war in Syria. Munzir Al-Nazzal and Mustafa, a Syrian father and son who lost limbs due to the conflict in their homeland and featured in the now-famous photo 'Hardship of Life', were welcomed in Italy together with the rest of the family: Mustafa's mother and the couple's two other children.

According to reports when the photo was first released, Munzir lost his leg in a bomb attack on the market in Idlib. It is thought that his wife may have inhaled nerve gas during attacks which could have been the cause of the rare genetic condition which affected Mustafa before he was born. It is known as Tetra Amelia and it refers to the failure of the arms and legs to develop, wholly or partly, before birth.

They will be housed in an apartment made available by the Caritas of the Archdiocese of Siena-Colle di Val D'Elsa-Montalcino, in the Italian region of Tuscany. Both father and son will receive treatment at the prosthesis center in Vigoroso di Budrio, in the province of Bologna.

Journey to Italy

The announcement regarding the new arrivals was made by the committee from the Siena International Photo Awards, which gave its top award to Turkish photographer Mehmet Aslan, who took the photograph of Munzir and Mustafa.

The festival has begun raising funds to help the father and son and other victims of the conflict in Syria. The family arrived late Friday afternoon at Rome's Fiumincino airport on a flight organized by Turkey.

They were then taken immediately to Siena, where they will undergo 15 days of quarantine at a house just outside the city limits, which will also be their new home in Italy.

Medical treatment

The Italian foreign ministry expressed deep satisfaction over the family's arrival in Italy. "In the wake of the solidarity movement elicited in Italy, the Italian Embassy in the Turkish capital Ankara, in close coordination with the Italian Foreign Ministry Directorate General for Migration Policies, immediately took action to trace the Al-Nazzal family and to identify suitable reception programs in our country," the Italian foreign ministry said.

The ministry said the Al-Nazzal family will be hosted by a network of civil society organizations coordinated by the Archdiocese of Siena-Colle di Val d'Elsa-Montalcino.

"Thanks to a fundraiser promoted by the organizers of the Siena Awards Festival, Mr Munzir al-Nazzal and his son Mustafa will be able to undergo long-term medical care at the prosthetic center in Vigorso di Budrio," the foreign ministry said.

Integration and education

The Archdiocese said the family will be provided with food and pocket money, and said it has already found a linguistic mediator to work with them.

Caritas will subsequently work to create a network of area support to help facilitate the family's integration process. It will also provide Italian language teaching and support through an accredited cooperative. Tuscany Regional Governor Eugenio Giani wrote on his Facebook page: "They are welcome [here]".


More articles