“My name’s Abdullah and I come from Aleppo. On the 23rd of September 2015 I left Syria for Turkey. The situation of my family was really bad and it still is, it gets worse by the day. I had to leave Syria because if you are a young man there, everyone wants to recruit you, either Assad’s army or the Free Syrian Army or even ISIS. I don’t want to fight for any of them, they’re all murderers. I hate their system and how the government treats our people, they take advantage of everything. And no one is fighting to free the people, they are just killing them. I’m not going to say to you that one side is better than the other, no. All of them are murderers.
People are asking why people are fleeing Syria. It’s impossible for a human being to live in Syria anymore. You cannot walk in the streets because you will get a bullet in the head, or a bomb will fall on you, or chemical weapons will choke you to death. There’s no water, no electricity, no jobs, no future. Nothing. I was studying at the university but I couldn’t complete my studies because of the military services that were chasing me. I had also to work as my father was very sick, he was disabled and I come from a very big family: I have 6 sisters and 3 brothers and all of them have children of their own.
So, I decided to leave on my own. I stayed in Turkey for five months and crossed to Greece on the 20th of March 2016, I arrived on the island of Chios and stayed there for five days. Then, I went up north, to the border, where I stayed at the infamous gas station. There, I got to work for medical teams as a translator, first on a voluntary basis and then with a wage. I used to work as a tourist guide when I was 15 back at home, so I speak English with ease and that helped a lot.
Back in Syria I was studying economics and finance, I’m very much into it but I was also working, for instance as a carpenter. I left my country with no particular destination in my mind. I just wanted a safe country to live. And I’m not going to lie to you, Turkey might be safe but has a lot of political problems and as refugees we have absolutely no rights, so it’s impossible to settle there.
And now I’m finally relocating to Spain, I feel really excited, I can hardly wait. I have so many friends there, in Valencia, in Barcelona, in Bilbao, in Madrid and I’ve met them all here in Greece. I’m going to start a new life, I’m going to continue with my studies, doing my own projects, fulfilling my dreams. And I would like to bring my mother along. I don’t want to lose her, too, without seeing her again. My father died on the same day I arrived on the island of Chios”.
Through the EU Relocation Programme, the International Organization for Migration in Greece (IOM) supports the Government of Greece in relocating with safety and dignity asylum seekers to other EU Member States of Relocation (MSR). The Programme is funded by the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund of the European Union (AMIF).