BBC Good Food Magazine

Dima Aktaa, 28, lost her left leg in 2012 when a bomb exploded in her lat’s balcony in Idlib, west Syria.


She says, “It wasn’t easy, having my life turn upside-down like that. I was physically active, preparing to go to uni and just 18. But, after getting out of hospital and seeing my old flat blown to pieces, I felt so grateful that my family and I all made it out alive. That bomb had cost me my leg, but being sad or crying about it wasn’t going to make my leg grow back.

“When my mum, older brother, younger sister and I arrived in the UK, we didn’t know anything about where we’d live or how our lives would look, but we just knew it would be safer than Syria.

“After learning English and continuing my studies, I met Imad through mutual contacts and we came together to raise money for Choose Love.

“It’s strange to think that a charity night in a London restaurant brought us together and now, we’re more like family than friends. I speak to Imad like my brother, and we just understand each other.

“Between my training and studying, it’s been hard to make friends, but coming together with Imad over food has helped me regain that sense of community that I loved so much in Syria.”

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