To My Valentine: Death Will Not Part Us

Ghassan al-Shihabi and his twin daughters © Private

Ghassan al-Shihabi and his twin daughters © Private

By Cilina Nasser, Amnesty International’s Syria researcher

When Siham Abou Sitte fell in love with Ghassan al-Shihabi, she was drawn by his determination to keep the memory of old Palestine alive, his passion for reading and writing and his commitment to his work.

They were both Palestinian refugees living in Syria’s Yarmouk neighbourhood in Damascus.

When he proposed, Ghassan promised to cherish Siham’s two children from a previous marriage, Carmen (then 12) and Yamen (then 15), and treat them as his own.

Six years after they got married, Siham says Ghassan never disappointed her.

Siham recalls the day her mother passed away, Carmen was upset by her grandmother’s death and ran to Ghassan who held her in his arms even though her own father was sitting there.