I spent a few months in Syria last year as a peace corps worker, working in the city of Kobane, where the Syrian army was fighting to hold back the Islamic State.
The region is the countrys worst-hit by the war, and Kobane was home to the largest refugee camp in the world.
I had an important job to do: I’d be tasked with helping a group of people in Kobane get out of the city.
A month into my work, I got a call from a man named Fadi who was desperately seeking help with a serious illness.
He’d lost his wife and daughter, both of whom were killed in the fighting.
I rushed to Kobane with Fadi and his daughter.
We rushed to the hospital and took him to a local hospital.
They told us that the man had died, and we were told that his wife had been killed in a car bomb.
I didn’t know what to think.
What had happened to him?
I went to the Kurdish press to get their version of what happened.
There were reports that Fadi was shot in the back.
I started to read their stories and see if I could learn anything.
It turned out that Fadih’s wife had died in a bomb blast while fleeing the city, not from a car bombing.
But the story about the car bomb was not true.
When we left the hospital, Fadi told me that Fadhil had been in a gunfight with a group known as the “Syrian Islamic Front” who were attacking Kobane.
Fadi said that Fads wife and two children had been wounded, and Fadi had lost both of his hands.
He said he was on the way to Koban to deliver the body of Fadir, the last person he would see alive.
Fadil’s wife and the children were also killed, and he told me about his brother who was killed with him.
Fadhill had been a fighter with the Syrian Islamic Front, and I went back to Kobany to tell him that I was going to meet him at the hospital.
I called Fadi, and asked him to take me there.
He agreed and told me to meet Fadim in a few minutes.
He drove me into Kobany, and took me to a small mosque.
FADIL sat in front of a big, red and gold cross on the ground, surrounded by black plastic chairs, a white flag, and a prayer rug.
I went over to him, and the man told me he was Fadi.
He gave me his name and his phone number.
He told me Fadi would be at the mosque in 10 minutes.
The man walked out and left.
I stood up and walked over to the car.
I asked Fadi what he wanted to say.
He asked me to wait for him.
I sat down and waited.
Then he drove away.
I cried and cried.
I wanted to come to his side, but I knew that I could never go back.
For months, I kept hearing the stories from people I had worked with and who had been kidnapped and killed by the Syrian government.
I kept seeing pictures of the victims of this conflict.
I was always thinking, What have they done to me?
How do I keep going?
I asked myself, What is the worst thing I could have done?
I began to see how I had become so lost in the war.
The first day I left Kobany after Fadi left, I went up to a mosque in the town of Yabroud to pray.
I said my prayers and the mosque had an empty spot for me.
I prayed again, and another time, and again.
I came out of my prayer, and there were people gathered outside the mosque.
They were crying and holding their hands to their heads.
I looked up and saw the face of a young man named Abu Omar, the only other person there.
When I asked Abu Omar why he was there, he told the story of his sister who was kidnapped by the government and forced to marry a man from her hometown.
I thought about Abu Omar.
I knew him, but in the moment I thought, I could not leave him alone.
I couldn’t let him go.
I took his hand and we prayed.
Then I heard a car drive by.
I walked over and saw Fadi standing in the middle of the street.
He was wearing a green shirt and a black sweater, and it was dark.
He hugged me and told us to go inside.
I told him to pray and I told the other people in the mosque to pray with him as well.
The next day, I called Abu Omar and told him what had happened.
Abu Omar told me his sister had been taken and he would never be able to come home.
I began looking for Fadi in the Kobany press.
I tried to call him, too.
He never answered my calls. Then,