Ilham and her family
“Greece is very beautiful, we’d like to live here but we’ve found out that we’ll finally relocate to Germany.
We’ve spent one year and two months here. It wasn’t easy: at first, we were living in camps, in a tent and then we had to share an apartment with many other families, there was always a lot of fuss and no privacy whatsoever. Additionally, my teenage girl has been out of school for two years now, except for the last one month when she attended school in Axioupolis.
Before the war, my husband, Nehad, was working at the ministry, in the sector of urban planning while I was teaching French at a public school in the city of Deir Ez-Zor. We left our life in Syria as our beautiful city was ravaged by the war. My daughter, Leen, had to quit school as it was destroyed. In the meantime, our son, Mustafa, was born. He was only 4 months old when we fled. We had to cross dangerous territory on foot. We walked on the mountains, it was terrifying. One day, the police put a gun on my baby’s head, they threatened us. We spent two days at the police department. It took us two attempts to successfully cross the Turkish border and in a few days, we managed to arrive to the island of Chios.
Because of the war, our family got scattered. My parents live in Saudi Arabia, I have one sister in Damascus and a brother back home, in Deir Ez-Zor. My other three sisters are in Germany, the last of them arrived there only last week.
I have a lot of dreams for my life in Germany. First of all, I dream about living with my family in a proper house, all by ourselves! Certainly, I’ll need to get a job, as I’m very energetic. Leen needs to get back to school and continue with her education. And of course, I dream of a beautiful life for my boy. He needs to sleep in peace, he has never slept in a calm environment in his short life. I dream of the day that I will be able to buy new clothes for all of us, there’s so much I want to do!
I hope that my husband and I will be able to leave behind all the hardships and focus on our future. Since the day we left, not a day goes by without thinking of Syria. I loved my life, my city, my house, the school where I was teaching. I had my family, my friends and my students. I wouldn’t mind moving to France as I speak the language but in Germany, thankfully, I will reunite with my sisters”.
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).