Photo credit: IOM/Mohannad Abusalah
Jbara is a 22 year old from Aleppo, Syria who chose to leave his country in search of a better, more peaceful life.
He arrived in Romania at the end of 2017, after first travelling through Lebanon and then Turkey. For a young man like him, the decision to leave his home, family and friends was made after the war started taking away any sense of certainty and stability. During the war, the chances of finding a good job and following your dreams seem utterly impossible for most, setting aside the fact that lives are in danger. Jbara chose to come to Romania to reunite with his uncle that had already been living there for more than 20 years.
“When I first arrived here I was a little scared, arriving in a new country seemed overwhelming, even if I had someone I knew here," Jbara explained. "I had no idea what to do when I came to Romania, or how to find my way around. Fortunately, everyone I met was really welcoming. The people working at IOM Romania helped me a lot and changed my [original] impressions.
I miss my family and my friends in Syria the most, a lot of them stayed back in Aleppo. If I think about home, the image and feel of the soft sand comes into my mind. Living in Romania has not been without challenges so far, but meeting people with a nice attitude has helped a lot. “
Settling in Romania is part of Jbara's plan; he wants to open a business that will connect the two countries. His biggest challenge for the moment is learning the Romanian language, but he follows his friends’ advice to listen to the radio and to Romanian music every day.
He often thinks about the people back home, and hopes that they find ways to stay united and agree with each other. Nevertheless, he is adjusting to his new reality away from his beloved country.
“Home will always be in Syria for me, but Romania is my adoptive country,” Jbara concluded.