My father had contact to someone who can arrange everything to arrive to Turkey; I had to pay 2000 Dollars. Then I went to Turkey by ship, from Tartus, a city at the coast, to Mersin. It was easy; I just had to pay money. When I arrived there friends were waiting for me. Some of them had been working with me in the civil movement. I lived with them in their apartment.
I spent a few months in Turkey, five months or so. I was in Gazianteb, a city near the border and I was in Arihani, it is directly on the border. I tried to work in some NGO projects in a refugees camp. I like to help people, to work with them, work with children, make documentaries. But I did not feel comfortable with the NGOs. In Syria I was working more directly against al-Assad, but in this period I had to work in humanity aid. Actually I was still excited to work against al-Assad, not helping homeless people. But they really need so much help and they do not get it.
I went to Istanbul, a friend hosted me and I prepared to find a way to Germany. My brother was working there as a doctor. Therefore it was possible to give me visa for two weeks. When it was expired, I applied for asylum. It was easy for me to come to Germany. I was so lucky.
For one week I lived at my brother’s, than I met some friends, we have worked in the same civil group. Then I went to Dortmund to make the asylum things and they transferred me to Eisenhüttenstadt. I was lucky again because they transferred me to Potsdam. I was in the refugees home for five months, then I found my shared flat.
When I arrived to Germany I felt happy. I felt like newborn. Like born again. I started a new life. I have to learn a new language, I have to focus on my future, and I do not have to be afraid of anything I was afraid of in Syria. I was optimistic when I arrived here. I am still optimistic, all the time. I have this concept: After what happened to me in Syria in the last five years and in the prison, nothing worse can happen, no bigger disaster. Here I will not be in such a bad situation like in Syria. It will not happen here. I am so optimistic; I let the hardest conditions behind me. Even when there will be hard times for me here in Germany, it will be still better then in Syria or in prison. Also just to walk on the street is something nice for me because in Syria I could not do that in the last months. In every street in Syria there are checkpoints to check my ID and maybe they arrest me if they want to.
Before I was arrested, they searched me. It was really strange, I thought everything is okay and they will not arrest me. So I started to go to university but after two month they arrested me. This is the way the Syrian security works. Sometimes they let you do your business but they have an eye on you. And then they arrest you.
Of course I miss my friends and family. I miss Homs in general more than Syria; everything has changed. I already started to miss Syria the last month when I was still there. When the revolution started, I was working in the civil movement, helping to organize demonstrations. But during the last few months I could not do anything. I could not go back to Homs because I was scared of the security guards who supported al-Assad. Therefore I was missing my homeland in my homeland before I even left it. And I am still missing my homeland. I really want to go back. But only when it is possible, when al-Assad is gone. So if Germany wants the Syrian people to go back to Syria, they only need to change one person. It is easy. Just change al-Assad, then we will go back.
I feel that now it is good for me to improve myself, to educate myself, because I need to work on my future. Because I feel that if I work hard now, I will be more useful for my country later. Because now, I cannot do anything there. I cannot improve myself there and I cannot work for the revolution. If I went back to Syria now, I would just have to stay at home and live a life under terrible conditions. So now it is better for me to stay in Germany, to educate myself, teach myself, complete my studies at university and talk more with people about Syria, about the situation there. One day I will go back. When the situation changes. But I do not think it will be possible in the next few years. Because the situation is not clear now. It is so complicated.
Most Syrians imagine Germany like a dream country. It is Europe. There you can do everything. They believe it is easy to get a job there and to get money. But for me Turkey was enough. I just wanted to get out of Syria. Because I had been in so bad conditions in prison, that when I got out I did not desire any good conditions. I just thought I am not in prison now, so it is okay for me. And I would have liked to stay in Syria. But when the security guards came again, I had to leave, get out. So I moved to Turkey and in Turkey I felt like “yeah, now it’s good again”. I just needed a safe place. I was very close to the border; there were so many people, activists from Syria, so I was living in the same atmosphere. I figured out if I stay in Turkey, I cannot focus on my future. So my idea was to stay in Turkey and continue working for the Syrian cause, or, if I want to focus on my future, I need to go to a place where I could start university again, get far away from this atmosphere, to work on myself.
To get information about Germany, the people talk to relatives and friends who are already in Germany. Some of them are jealous, because we arrived to Germany and they did not. It is really stupid. Many of them have no idea about the German society and they just want to come because they know here are good conditions for living and it is easy to stay here, we have a lot of possibilities. So let us go to Germany, Sweden or Netherlands or Norway.
Syrian people have the imagination of Germany, that it is beautiful, easy life. And it is true. The conditions here are better than in Syria, it is so much better.
The problem is that everyone has to ask himself, if he wants to change his lifestyle. Because the Syrian lifestyle does not work here in Germany and they need to change many things in their lives.
When I had one appointment per week in Syria, I felt stressed. And here I have two or three appointments a day. It is really different.
They could also stay in Turkey, but their future there is unknown and they do not know if Turkey will send them back to refugees camp at the border. So they want to come to Germany because here their future is safe.
Educated people or students can work here. And they like to work all the time. Syrian people are hard workers. And here it is possible to find work I think. They believe in that.
A typical German thing is beer, parties, hard work. And weekend is something really important. I have not been in other countries so I do not know if these things are typical German or European. I do not want to talk about typical German things. You make me making stereotypes about Germans and I do not want that. Germans are normal people. They do not have so much troubles and stress in their mind as we have. You have normal life, work, weekend; you do not have so many troubles in your mind. But do not make me make stereotypes! Germans are nice, I met so much helpful people. I do not know if that is typical German.
Thank you, Malin, for your work! I am so glad about it!