"I'm currently a student in Switzerland, but my first journey away from home was when I left Syria to work in Dubai at 24. While there, I worked in at the Crowne Plaza Hotel as a visa officer. My job was to process the visa requests for people who wanted to come to Dubai, and I lived there for almost 3 years.
Now I live in Switzerland, and I do like living here so far. I didn't have too many problems adapting to the language or the traditions; I learned French very quickly and I speak English too, so it wasn't really difficult. The only challenge I have now is finding a job, but everything else is falling into place for me to feel somewhat at home.
It's a concept that changes often, but home to me has always meant family, friends and the place where I spent my childhood. I remember feeling lost when I first got to Dubai; my family wasn't with me and it felt like I was starting from zero. To be a migrant is difficult but good at the same time, because it allows you to seek new opportunities for a safe future with no danger. At the same time, it is difficult to be far from my family and the land where I was born. I had a good childhood there, and it is a land where we helped migrants and refugees before some of us become refugees ourselves."
This story is brought to you in partnership with The Refugee Cultural Festival, 2017 edition. The festival was launched to encourage small, local actions to embrace diversity and support those forced to leave their homes due to war, famine and climate change. Learn more about the festival and donate by clicking here.