Following a terrible earthquake that took the lives of hundreds of people, images of a young girl securing her smaller brother’s head while he was stuck beneath concrete rubble have been making the rounds online.

Videos of buildings falling to pieces and people sobbing for their loved ones inundated the internet after a terrifying 7.5 magnitude earthquake struck areas of Turkey and Syria.

During such horrifying material, a video of a young girl and her brother appeared on social media. When viewers learned of their tragic tale, they couldn’t help but feel heartbroken.

Mariam and Ilaaf trapped under rubble | Source:

Mariam and Ilaaf trapped under rubble | Source:


A Wave of Sudden Panic

Mustafa Zuhir Al-Sayed, his wife, and his three children were sound asleep in their Syrian home when fate thrust them into a tense, terrifying position they had never anticipated.

The family was lying in their home’s most cozy spot when suddenly, they felt the ground tremble. Al-Sayed recalled watching concrete fragments fall on him and his family, a horrifying scene that no one should endure.

Like many other victims of this terrifying natural calamity, Al-Sayed was powerless to shield his family. Despite his helplessness, fear, and confusion, he never lost hope.

Time Was Running Out

Rescuers started searching for those who needed assistance after a catastrophic earthquake, and its aftershocks destroyed sections of Turkey and Syria. In the hours that followed, the death toll kept climbing, and many families experienced heartbreak upon learning of the passing of a loved one.

“But get us out of here,” she pleaded.

Mariam covers her brother's head with her hand. | Source:

Mariam covers her brother’s head with her hand. | Source:

Over the following several hours, numerous lives were saved by the volunteers who offered to free the victims buried deep beneath the wreckage. However, the likelihood of survivorship did drastically decline as time went on.

Surviving on Hope

Al-Sayed and his family were still living beneath the ruins at the time. They could not move or assist themselves; all they could do was pray. Pray that someone will come to their aid soon.

Al-Sayed and his family prayed vociferously for the following 36 hours hoping that someone would overhear them. They didn’t give up despite going without food and water for over two days. Soon, a rescuer approached Al-Sayed’s two children trapped beneath the concrete ruin and hurried to assist them.

The Heartbreaking Video

Mariam, a seven-year-old, can be seen looking at the camera and covering her brother’s head with her elbow in the rescuer’s video. She glances at her brother, Ilaaf, and runs a hand through his hair. Mariam stated, unsure of whether the unidentified man would assist her:

“Sir, if you rescue my brother and me, I’ll do whatever you want.” ArabianDaily

“But get us out of here,” she pleaded.

Mariam, who was afraid for her and Ilaaf’s lives, even promised to be the rescuer’s servant if he saved them, which shattered the hearts of millions of people worldwide.

An Abhorrent Experience

The paramedic reassured Mariam that she wouldn’t have to carry out any of those actions. A second image displayed the two kids sitting on a bed while being wrapped in blankets. They were reportedly transferred to a hospital, and Al-Sayed’s entire family was saved.

It is unacceptable for anyone to go through what Al-Sayed and his family did. He thanked the paramedics who heard and saved them and was thankful to God for giving him and his family another opportunity at life.

The Online Response

Following the viral success of Mariam and Ilaaf’s sorrowful video, internet users couldn’t resist leaving comments on the video. Here is what they said:

“What a brave little girl. How strong and caring she is. God bless her and be with them.”

– (@Anna Galea) February 8, 2023

“It breaks my heart to see the innocent little girl protecting her brother. God bless them alive!”

– (@Irene Kouseband) February 8, 2023

“Poor little girl! She did a good job protecting her brother.”

– (@Tina Travers) February 8, 2023

“She was his guardian angel and was meant to be there with him. May God continue watching over both of them. God is good. Sending the power of prayers.”

– (@Pat Contreras) February 8, 2023

Another Child Rescued

Emergency personnel also saved many other people besides Mariam and Ilaaf. One of her seven children, a newborn baby girl saved three hours after birth, was the only survivor.

The mother was not responding when the witnesses claimed they heard a voice. When they discovered a newborn baby girl crying under the debris with her umbilical cord still linked to her mother, they were horrified, thinking it must be her husband.

The young child, subsequently named Aya, was brought to a local hospital. Her body temperature was abnormally low, and the physicians found her skin bruised. She is currently in the hospital being observed, but her condition quickly stabilized.

Fate permitted Aya to breathe amid the concrete ruins despite being born beneath the debris and not receiving emergency medical attention. We sincerely hope the young child never has to experience something this horrible again. We also pray that Al-Sayed would be able to construct a new home for his small family.

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