FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – A 25-year-old college student who survived war-torn Syria and returned to the United States with her family shared her story Monday with Local 10 News.
Like most college students, Christine Abraham spends her days in the library studying and hanging out with her friends. But just a few years ago, Abraham and her family were trying to survive in the midst of war.
"I would never wish that on my own worst enemies," Abraham said. "That's how bad it was."
In 2000, Abraham's parents decided to move to Syria so their children could get in touch with their roots. But they never expected to be caught in the middle of a war.
"It was 2011 when the war hit," Abraham said.
She was a college student when war erupted. Bombs were set off daily, while students and professors hid under their desks. Her class, once filled with 100 students, dwindled to just 10.
"Then we lost our house," Abraham said. "Nothing was left."
The family left the town barefoot with very little clothing, clutching their passports tightly while walking through the snow.
"Instead of the ground, (we were) moving through tanks, rubble," Abraham said.
They made it to a remote village and lived there for 10 months.
"(It was) crazy, freezing, (with) no water," she said.
Abraham didn't think she'd make it out alive, but she and her family eventually made it back to the U.S. safely. A year later, she enrolled at Broward College while working two full-time jobs to make ends meet.
She is set to graduate next week, a goal she thought she'd never reach.
"I have plans to be an immigration lawyer, to be their voice," Abraham said.