Sawsan is a mother from Syria who, together with her children and nephew have recently relocated to Croatia.
“On February 2016, I left together with my daughters, my son and other family. We crossed from Syria to Turkey, where we spent two weeks waiting to get into the boats for Greece. We arrived on the island of Samos and soon, we ended up at the northern frontier, at the makeshift camp of Idomeni. We spent three months there, it was really hard, we have really bad memories. Afterwards, we came to Athens, where we are until today. My family is from Deir ez-Zor, a beautiful city on the shores of the Euphrates River. I used to work at the city planning bureau. When I lost my husband to the war, I took the decision to get my children out of Syria. We’ve been through unbelievable hardships since the day the war broke. We constantly changed cities, schools, friends, life and communities. We spent six years living like this.
Now, all I want is to forget, to leave everything behind. The most important thing for me is the future of my children, after all, I left for their sake. My daughters are 16 and 18 years old and my son is 11. He is very keen on getting back to school. In Syria, he attended until the 5th grade and he got the chance to continue here at the Greek school for a while. And now the time has come to move to Croatia. Although my mother and my sister are permanent US residents, we were looking to settle to Switzerland, but it was not meant to be. At first, there were rumors that Croatia is not good for us, but then my brother reassured me that it’s a beautiful country and a very popular tourist destination, visited by people from all over the world. So, we’re happy to go there. I didn’t expect to survive the war but life goes on, in the end. Now, we only wish to live like normal people, to enjoy our lives”.
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).