To Defenders of Freedom

Hasan Abdurahman stays in Kyiv to cook for the locals. He once lost his family in Aleppo and wants to spend the rest of his life in Ukraine

Hasan Abdurahman

The man had lost his wife and five adult children during airstrikes in the Syrian city of Aleppo. His survival was a fluke — at that time, he was away on business. It is difficult for Hasan to remember those horrors even 11 years after the tragedy. Russia supported the Assad regime during the war in Syria and supported the fighting in Aleppo too. So it turns out that Hassan risks losing his home for the second time due to Russian aggression.

Hasan decided to leave the country: first he took several planes to Odesa, and from there he hitchhiked to Kyiv. Other emigrants helped him with housing and since then the man has been making shawarma near the Khreshchatyk metro station.

Since the beginning of the full-scale Russian invasion, the man did not go to work only once, on February 24. But the next morning, he opened his kiosk. Not many people came, but those that did smiled in surprise. But Hasan is not going to leave the city, he says that he needs to get by, pay for housing, and buy food. He is not afraid of shelling and does not want to stop his work and become useless.

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