“My name’s Karim and I come from the Mosul area in northern Iraq. When ISIS invaded our land, as a Yezidi I had no choice but to flee. I arrived on the island of Samos, Greece in 2016.
It hurts deep in my heart that I had to leave home, it’s hard for me to share or talk about what I’ve been through, the horrible things that led to my decision to leave. No one abandons their homeland for nothing. My people are uprooted. I traveled with some members of my extended family. I had to carry my aunt, an elderly woman that could not walk all the way to the Aegean Sea.
Before the war broke in our land, I was working as a carpenter, doing woodwork – kitchen cupboards and the like. I was happy and also, much more brawny than I am today. When I left Iraq, I weighed 95 kilos. Now, I barely weigh 75 kilos.
When I arrived in Greece, I registered for the relocation program. Like so many others, Germany was my final destination and the day I found out that I was going there was a really happy one. I just want to have a normal life again, learn the language and get a job as a carpenter, or any other job for that matter. I want to be independent.
Even if peace comes back to my homeland, I don’t think I’ll ever go back again. It’s too painful. Even if things are back to normal, everything will remind me of the horrible things I’ve seen and I’ve been through. My life is in Europe now.”
Through the EU Relocation Programme, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Greece 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).