Mahmoud hailed from a poor family in Damascus, a high-school drop-out who sacrificed his education to support his family by working at a nearby Shawarma café, he also fixed cars as a mechanic in his spare time. By 2011, he had turned 18, and just like all other boys his age, was due to begin his compulsory military service. By that year, the war had started and Mahmoud was required to move to Aleppo as part of his service. It was there in 2013 that he sustained his injury that turned him blind. At such a young age, what was he to do next, and how would he adapt to this new reality? After the launch of the Jarih al-Watan program in 2015, Mahmoud was visited by program staff who assessed his injury and status of living. Mahmoud was no longer the breadwinner of the family and the future seemed bleak. The team sat with the family and discussed their options, with a primary message that Mahmoud and his family had to reorganize themselves and adapt to a new reality. While the Jarih Al Watan program offers rehabilitation, financial remuneration and compensation for both Mahmoud and his family, the responsibility of keeping the family afloat could no longer be on Mahmoud’s shoulders alone. So the whole family started utilizing the various Syria Trust programs to collectively take on the role of breadwinner now that Mahmoud had limited abilities. Mahmoud credits his healing with the emotional and moral support he received far more than the financial support. He felt valued and appreciated despite his limitations and this led him to heal faster and better because he wasn’t facing his problems alone, which gave him the confidence to sign up to for training at the Music Institute in Damascus and ultimately get a job at the Opera House, where he works today. Mahmoud also met his life partner who is also blind and they now provide each other with the support they need to live their everyday lives the best that they can. Mahmoud did not stop here though, he was determined to complete his higher education and graduated with a distinction, he plans on attaining a degree in physiotherapy. “No one plans on being blind” says Mahmoud, “You must learn how to live a new life and you can’t do it alone. The one thing that still motivates me is the fact that life doesn’t stop until it stops, so never give up.”