Photo Credits: WFP/Rein Skullerud
“My name is Nour. I am 31 and I am Syrian. I was working in the department of microbiology in the Atomic Energy Commission of Syria. My husband Hasan and I decided to leave Syria because he was asked to join the military service, but we didn’t want to take any side so we didn’t have another choice – we had to go.
When we left, we wanted to bring many things with us, but when you travel in an illegal way, you can’t bring anything with you. We could take only the things that were needed for the baby.
We wanted to bring our families, our clothes, our laptops, and my hairdryer – a lot of things. I left all my life behind me. So you can imagine how hard it is. It is difficult when you move to another country with a small amount of luggage.
Imagine when you are moving to another country with nothing, because I couldn’t bring anything.
Here in Rome we don’t miss Syrian food too much because we can actually prepare and cook it ourselves. We find the ingredients and the spices in the supermarkets, where we can buy food using the food vouchers or the card that we have been given.
The card is recharged regularly. If the supermarkets don’t have the ingredients or the spices, we can find them in some Egyptian or Arabic shops. It is easy.
We like pizza and my son Ziad enjoys his pasta with just some olive oil. He is funny, he likes to eat with other children, not with us!
When we arrived, thanks to the Sant’Egidio Community, my son started attending the kindergarten of the Community.
He loved playing with other children so much and I used to watch him from upstairs, from the flat where we stayed for a few weeks as guests of the Sant’Egidio Community. After a while we moved to another flat, still in the center of the city. It is very nice.
We have refugee papers now. They are valid for five years and we can travel with those documents, even if we still don’t have our passports. We’d like to stay in Italy, for now, then we’ll see.”
This story was originally published as part of the #IAMSYRIAN series