Injured Gezi protester has ‘gone back to being 5-year-old girl’
ISTANBUL - Hürriyet
‘I don’t want to live in Turkey anymore. I am back to being 5 years old just because I went there that day for the park not to be demolished. I did not do anything wrong and look at my situation now,’ says Allami. HÜRRİYET photo, Emre YUNUSOĞLULobna Allami, who was hit by a tear gas capsule in the head during the Gezi protests, has spoken to Ayşe Arman from daily Hürriyet after recovering from a coma and undergoing three brain surgeries.
Lobna’s sister Fatin Allami phoned Arman to tell her that Lobna had been going through speech therapy and wanted to give an interview, with the help of her boyfriend Barış. She needs help as three months after the incident she is struggles to speak.
Allami was hit by a gas capsule during the harsh police crackdown at Taksim Square on May 31. "That picture where she was taken to the hospital has been engraved in our minds. She stayed in a coma for 25 days. Then she spent months at the intensive care unit. She was at the edge of death. Her mistake was demanding that the park remain as a park," wrote Arman in Hürriyet.
Allami now speaks like a foreigner learning Turkish. She has difficulty speaking; she cannot read and write. She cannot use the computer. She cannot covey what’s in her mind to the outside world; she has what is called “Conduction Aphasia.”
She is a 35-year-old woman who has gone back to her 5-year-old self in terms of skills, which it could take years to get back.
Lobna and Barış have experienced difficult times. They have managed by themselves but their friends have helped them over the past two months. Barış posted Lobna’s video on an international site called “Indiegogo” and started a campaign. They need 70,000 dollars for her treatment for the next two years. They have collected 39,000 dollars so far. You can reach the site at: http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/sing-lobna-sing
Barış said they were very happy with Lobna’s recovery but Lobna herself missed her old self; the talkative person who had an opinion on every subject.
Lobna told Arman that her mind worked the same but she had changed a lot, “I am changing every day. I don’t want to live in Turkey anymore. I am back to being 5 years old just because I went there that day for the park not to be demolished. I did not do anything wrong and look at my situation now… I have to learn everything again.”
She added, “I am grateful that I am alive but I cry a lot because a lot of me, my abilities and my knowledge are gone. I cannot read, I cannot write. And worst of all, I cannot speak the way I want to.”