La semana pasada hablé de mi amigo Ismael, un joven refugiado Sirio con grandes valores humanos, que tuve la suerte de conocer en Grecia.  Hoy es él quién cuenta, en primera persona, parte de su historia.

Cuando le pedí que compartiera su testimonio me envió unas reflexiones que publicó en facebook mientras estaba en los campos de refugiados de Grecia y un cuestionario que le hicieron a su llegada en Suiza. (Puesto que es su testimonio, lo publico en inglés tal como lo escribió. Pero si lo necesitas, el blog dispone de un traductor) :


When I arrived in Greece I was put into the Indomeni camp. The living conditions were really bad. We were waiting for the border to open. This didn’t happen so I was moved to another camp.

While in my tent I did some soul searching and decided to make something of my life. I began to learn English. I would take any chance to practice, books and conversation with anyone and everyone, I improved quickly. I then became a volunteer, translating Arabic to English.

I registered with a relocation program. After 14 months of uncertainty I have been accepted to Switzerland.

I now work as a medical translator for an organisation which works with refugees. I know my mum is really proud of me.

I just wanted to say we are refugees because of war. We did not come to Europe for food or money. Today I am refugee maybe tomorrow you will be a refugee. We need to learn to love one another.


Can you talk about your childhood, your life in Syria?

– It was a normal life, like any life in any country.

Why did you leave?

– Because there is no safety and no future, at the request of my family to leave.

How much was your trip to Greece?

– 1 200€

Where did you found the money?

– My father borrowed money from one of his friends and I sold my mobile phone to pay

Did you remember how many people were you on the boat?

– 21. 7 kids, 4 womans, 2 old men, all young guys.

Tell me about your trip across the sea. Were you afraid?

– It was a herbal day, raining and waves, 2h30min in the boat, kids crying, actually all people they are not afraid because they said before we start from Turkey to Greece, we escape from a bomb and all strikes, now we will scared from the sea,one thing I was afraid about kids if it happen any thing.

What are the problems that you encountered when you arrived in Greece?

The border it was close and I can’t continue my way,live in bad situations in camps….

Did you encounter violence from the military or the Greek police?

– Never.

What did you most miss when you were in camp?

– In the first camp it was bad situations: everything we lived in nowhere, 7 km far way from closer tawn, hospital.

How long did you stay in camp? How did you spend your time?

– 1 year and after I became as a translator with midical time in 2 camps, in camps I spent my time learning English and I was a volunteer teacher with IRC(International Rescue Committee).

Do you have any flashbacks of what you have seen or lived in Syria? Do you have nightmares?

I had but I forgot it already because I live in the present and thinking for the future.

Has someone proposed a psychological fallowing?

– No.

If yes, has that helped you? If not, do you think it is important to organize that.

– It’s important because a lot of people they lives in the camps and they need that.

Now that you are in Switzerland how do you feel?

– Actually, better than where I was.

What has been organized to help you integrate?

Learn a language and understand the rules.

What are your projects?

I have a lot of things, step by step now all my focus to finish a language.

What are the daily obstacles faced by the refugees in the host country?

– Just one thing, they wait a long time to they have a papers to work or travel or….




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