Quadruplets a joyous handful for Syrian refugee mother

Walaa was shocked to learn she was expecting four daughters, but despite struggling to meet their needs she draws strength from her little 'miracles'.

Walaa Aldihni and her husband Ali Al Hassouni pose for a portrait with their ten-month-old quadruplets
© Annie Sakkab, producer-camera / Esna Ong, second camera

Rocking a sleeping baby in the crook of her arm, Walaa uses one hand to feed formula milk to a second while preparing a bottle for a third with her free hand. Such agility has become second nature since giving birth to quadruplets 10 months ago, but she admits it was a shock when she first found out.

“The first echo showed only three,” said the 30-year-old refugee from Dara’a in southern Syria. “When I went back, they said they are quadruplets – there’s one more. I got a big surprise.”

Raising her four daughters – Ayat, Ghena, Sarah and Sali – is a huge challenge, especially as a refugee in Jordan struggling by on the meagre wages her husband Ali earns at a local car wash. Sometimes the parents skip meals to make sure they have enough money to buy food, clothes and diapers for the girls.

But even when things threaten to overwhelm her, Walaa says her daughters give her the strength to keep going. “It’s like a miracle. It’s something that’s rare,” she says, surrounded by her chubby girls in matching turquoise outfits. “It’s beautiful when I look at all four of them, especially when they are sleeping!”