“The journey here was dangerous and very special. It was the first time for me to do many things: Getting on an airplane, a big boat, a small boat, a train, and 10 hours of walking in the woods in the middle of the night.
I was scared when we were on this small boat in the middle of the sea. We were lost. In Greece we were in prison for 11 days like we were criminals. I don’t understand, we were not criminals! When we finally arrived at the destination of our journey, Berlin, a friend gave us a place to stay for the night. There were already eight men in the room, but we were finally safe.
I embarked on this dangerous journey because my life in Syria was terrible. I was in a very unhappy marriage, with an abusive partner. He and his family kicked me out of the house when I fell ill. My family didn’t want to take me as a divorced woman. So I fled with my friend, who had been tortured twice and was afraid that if those people got hold of him again, they might kill him.
He told me we could get married, and he would bring me to Germany later, but I told him I was going to go with him. Along the journey we got married and we will have a child soon. Life in the refugee shelters in Germany was difficult. We had no privacy, no door to lock and the bathrooms were a nightmare. Within the last 15 months in Berlin, we have lived in six different places.
Now, we finally found a home, but it’s only one room for me and my husband, and soon we’ll be three. I am happy, Germany is a new start for us. I feel like a teenager who has been given a new life. I think I fit in here, I learn quickly and connect well with people. So far everyone here has been respectful towards my religion and me wearing a hijab.
In Syria, I felt like a bird and they had cut my wings when I wanted to fly. But now – migration is a new experience, it opens your mind and you are able to look to all sides, and I can choose what is suitable for me. I love my new life because I’ve chosen for myself for the first time in my life.”
This is a story by Christine Strotmann.