A barbershop

I am a refugee, my name is Omar. I came to Greece on February 27th, 2017. When I was living in Syria, I had a normal life as all the people. I was with my family and we didn’t have any problem. Then, the war started in Syria and I was arrested for a short time. So, I decided to go to Turkey and I was there for 1 year and 6 months. Turkish people have different behavior to Syrians. There, we didn’t have a job and I start thinking to leave Turkey, so to find a job in Greece.

I went to Samos. The police caught me, for a short time, and put me in prison, for 21 days. When I asked them why I was there they didn’t reply to me. When I was released from prison, they sent me to Katehaki (Asylum Service in Athens). They said to me that I can get a passport but not now because they had problems in Greece. They also told me that I have committed an offense while I was in prison in Samos, and that was the reason they didn’t give me the passport. Although I hadn’t done anything bad and I didn’t have any problem with anyone, the police in Samos had a hatred towards me, maybe that was the reason I couldn’t take the passport.

In Samos, I stayed for three months and after that, the police gave me my documents. The police gave me the documents and then they let me go to Athens, but I didn’t want to leave at that time. The police were talking to me in a bad way and I was thinking that I wasn’t in Europe (by their behavior) but that I was still in Syria (the policemen had the same bad behavior in both countries). They told me bad words. I am correct, I don’t have any problem with anyone, I can’t understand why they told me that words.

Then, I came to Athens. I tried to travel to other countries without a passport. I couldn’t stay in Greece because I had nothing. Even Greeks they don’t have any jobs. The people in streets were smoking and doing bad things. No money, not UN, not house, nothing for me here in Greece. I went to UN organization to ask for any given help and they asked me first for my documents, so to be able to stay in the refugee center, but I didn’t have any. I got the same reply from Red Cross and other same organizations.

When I was in Samos, the UN was giving us 90 euro, for which we were waiting for 5-6 hours in a row. When I came to Athens, they stopped to give me the monthly money. My family sent me some money. I have one sister in England, she also sent me the money to travel to London, even if I hadn’t any documents.

When I came to Skaramagas camp (Refugee center), I opened a barbershop. Now, I am waiting for the ID. I will leave Greece when I will take my documents. I can’t sit here. If any country sends me back to Greece again, I will go back to Syria. Thank you!

Storyteller’s name: Omar
Interviewer’s name: Anxhela Dani
Country of origin: Syria
Sex: M
Age: 21

Dublin Core: Language: en Subject: Greece, Syria, Damascus, refugee, A Million Stories