What does a Syrian refugee look like?
Are some Syrian refugees secret ISIS fighters? Opportunistic Muslims simply seeking to emigrate to the West? Families that will be on welfare for years and years and never fully integrate into our society?
Hear what Basem says (All spelling and grammar based on Basem’s original letter):
My name is TOME, Basem. I’m 34 years old, I studied French literature, and I worked in auto spare parts business.
I have search in the internet for humanity organizations to help me with my family and here is my story.
I’m Syrian and being Syrian refugee is my tragedy within almost 3 years of war.
The crises started by demur demonstrations against the government with some disorder acts but the situation was normal in the first year and there was no fear. I met a beautiful girl and we loved each other, then, after almost one year we got married.
Several months before the marriage the battles between the Islamic revolutionaries and the army of the government began in my little town IRBIN – A suburb of Damascus the capital (6 kilometers far from Damascus) – where I live and work. The battles increased very fast (and very strong) then, after a few months of fights, the Islamic dominated the town and kick out the police and the army of the regime outside IRBIN, and as a result of this new situation the army gave the orders to strike the town by artillery and aviation.
I had to emigrate from Irbin
So I had to emigrate from IRBIN. I quit the town because of the continuous strikes from the regime and discomfort acts from the Islamic revolutionaries for religious reasons because I m Christian. All the Christians oblige to quit the town. I felt like the both side of war used me for politics reason and don’t care about me and about my needs. And indeed I don’t trust them and I cannot coexist with them because they are both liar and barbarian.
So I left my little town, I lost my apartment, my office, my warehouse, my goods and I never came back again to IRBIN.
I moved to Damascus, I rent a small apartment.
All these goings-on passed during the first year and second year for the crises.
The situation becomes bad with time and the third year is the worst
At the beginning of 2013 my wife Lana get pregnant. And from the other side the number of explosions increase and become bigger and the fireballs and missiles fall down on our area continuously and It becomes almost daily and the kidnapping acts increase. The fear and the panic become very big especially for Lana and we had worry about the embryo, so we didn’t go out unless for bring food or something urgent because we are afraid from death that existed all around us.
As a result of fireballs I had to quite the new apartment because it was dangerous because it was the top level in the building, and I had to emigrate one more time to new area more secure in first level apartment but the situation still almost the same because the fires caused by the fireball kill more people that the fireball itself.
All of these miserable things were endurable until my baby boy Ralf was born
All these miserable’s things are supportable until the moment when my baby boy Ralf was born.
Babies need care and attention, they need warmth, medicaments and medical care. They need light, electricity and fuel to stop cold, babies cannot run away and hide in the bathroom during the fall of fireballs.
The security situation becomes so bad and the electricity cut of about 18-20 hours per day and no fuel for warm and weather is frozen, the medicaments not available permanently, death become closer and fear becomes so big and it touch our live every second.
The picture is very dark, the reality situation cannot be described by words especially when the voices of fireballs started so we run away fast and hide in bathroom far from windows and doors, and without electricity most of time, so the baby start cry and scream.
Live became very hard, and bad, and dangerous – It’s impossible to continue here.
Live becomes very hard and bad and dangerous and it’s impossible to be continued here.
We are a simple and normal family and all that I ask for is the right to live without panic and fear. The right to live with warmth, health and happiness for my 3 month old baby. The right to think about the future of my family or (who still alive between us). The right to think about develop my work not about run away from snipers, kidnapping, fireballs, chemical weapon and explosions. The right to feel safe.
I started ask myself: Could my boy grow up like normal child? Will he go to school? Could he live in a place of freedom, pride, justice, with no fear of terrorism, extravagance, communism? Could my son live with no fear of someone come to cut the throat of every person on our family and finish by eating his heart (because of their faith)? Could my baby grow up without see all this blood and body and feel all this hate? Could I go for picnic with my small family on the weekend in a sunny day?
I need help. I don’t want to be me or someone from my family a number in the statistic of dead who passed 130.000 persons.
Could your country receive my little family of 3 persons and save us before we become victim of diseases, hunger and fight?
I don’t want to travel to Europe illegally
I don’t want to travel to Europe illegally. Please could you provide me a safety way to go to safety place in your country?
Thank you very much for your comprehension and cooperation.
I hope you understand my wish and help me to survive.
Excuse my bad language I think I made a lot of mistakes.
Learn more about one man in Greece, #ManolisTzanetos, who’s making a difference. And the many, many volunteers who are helping him do just that: http://www.pri.org/stories/2016-01-06/meet-man-feeding-thousands-refugees-day
“I was in Athens in the underground [subway] and I saw some people looking at me.” At first Manolis was a bit worried. “I thought they were looking at my bag and wanted to attack me. At the first stop I got out and they did too. Then they called my name and hugged and kissed me.”
It turned out they were Afghan refugees he had helped on Lesbos two years before who had recognized him. “Another Syrian guy would call me for years from Belgium. A lot of people call me or we’re friends on Facebook.”
Like many people on Lesbos, Tzanetos has seen the soaking lifeless bodies of refugees who have died at sea and such things take a toll.
“I hope they will find a solution. The sea is very dangerous. It has to stop. We have to do something about all these deaths. It’s not nice people getting killed near the place that you live, you cannot not be affected by that,” he says. “In August I wanted to go swimming and I got all these images in my head and I didn’t want to go.” – Manolis Tzanetos