I am a Law graduate of the University of Aleppo. Because of the war it was very difficult to find a job, and I decided to go to Beirut, in Lebanon. After a while, my father had some medical problems and I went back to Syria to visit him. On my trip back, near to Arak, town occupied by ISIS, some people started shooting each other and the driver of the bus got killed. As soon as I arrived home I received a letter from the Government, asking me to join the Syrian army. I didn’t want to and I was thinking to find a way out. Therefore I decided to try to get to Europe, for a safe life and future. I sold my house in order to have money for my trip.

Firstly, I went to Turkey. There, I paid 2000 Euros for a presumably safe trip to Greece. We were 18 people taken to the Turkish border, on a car trip that took 12 hours. We started walking towards the ferry that was supposed to take us to Greece. We were supposed to arrive to Greece in few hours, but we spent more than 3 days on the sea. When we reached the shore, we started walking again; we walked for 6 hours because we were told that there will be a car that will pick us up and take us to a safe place. There was no such thing and we ended up in a Greek village. The Police arrested us and took us back to the sea. They took all our belongings, including clothes. They put us on the same ferry and sent us back to Turkey. In Turkey they arrested us for a week. Afterwards, I found another person that offered to help me to go straight to Athens. I paid 2400 Euros for this. From there, I was planning to travel to Italy. There was another person who helped me travel by ferry, for 3000 Euros. I spent three days on the ship. 35 Syrians on a very small ship…

When we arrived there we got arrested straightaway. I was actually happy to be arrested by them, hoping to be treated differently by the Italian Police. But it was not the case. They took us to a detention center in order to take our fingerprints. When I refused, they started kicking me. Although I kept refusing, they tied me with handcuffs and took my fingerprints without me accepting that. While I was there they were feeding us once every two days. Eventually they took me to a cinema full of refugees from different countries: Iraq, Sudan, Syria…

I ran away from that place and I went to Calais, France. I spent 23 days over there, trying to find help and go to the United Kingdom. I crossed the Channel in a lorry full of frozen ice cream with eleven more people, spending nine hours in there until the ferry stopped. There were nine more hours until the driver opened the doors and called the police. Unfortunately they had information about me from the Italian police, alongside with my fingerprints, so they put me in prison for two months. The authorities were about to send me back to Italy, but a solicitor helped me and I was sent to Birmingham where I spent six months. Eventually, I was sent to Huddersfield and I am still trying to obtain asylum. Meanwhile, I am going to Leeds every two weeks to sign papers for the. It is very possible to get arrested anytime. After this horrible trip, the Home Office is still trying to fidnd a way to send me back to Italy. And when you think about it I am just one of many, many more Syrians that are probably sharing similar problems.


Sh. Kh.