I traveled by lorry…from Turkey to France, and from France to the UK. It was a very long trip; I had to change about 15 lorries to get here. I feel so lucky I traveled this way, while other people had to use different dangerous means.

The problem in Syria is that it is very difficult to have a passport, especially if you are young, so you have to cross the border with Turkey illegally. In order to get a passport, you have to join Assad’s regime, and his war, and his people, otherwise you won’t have a passport. Unfortunately this is one of the worst things that can happen to young Syrian people; we have to cross the border illegally and we were not raised up like this, we were not taught to follow bad ways. We are not bad people, we grew up in a good climate, in good families. We are not used to do bad things like crossing borders illegally. But the situation brought us here.

During the time spent in Turkey, I was exploited very much over there. I am an engineer, I wanted to work, but when I tried to apply for a job I was asked to present a work permit, which I didn’t have, because Turkish Government won’t give Syrians a permit for work. Still, I managed to fi nd a job, but the salary was very low, probably ¼ of what I was normally supposed to earn. And it was not enough to earn a living. Therefore I had to quit and the only chance was to leave Turkey for a better place. Probably every Syrian in Turkey would quit in a month, or two, and use the little money he has in the attempt to travel to Europe.

I had to leave, and I found a ‘guy’ who helped me get here. My wish was to go to any European country, but this person told me the UK is the best option. My arrangement meant risking all my money, but I had to do it. During the trip to the UK (15 days) the only things that I could consume were water and plums. If you eat anything else, you have to go to toilet, which is almost impossible.

H. S.