“When you leave your home, the walls begin to mean something to you”

My name is Lina and i’m Palestinian, but I was born in Syria.
My life was very good there, it was a quiet life. We are Palestinians but it felt like we were welcome in Syria. Syria is my second country, but it feels like my homeland because I was born, lived and grew up there. But, of course, I never forget my roots and Palestine.

It was tough to leave. There is a quote that says “When you leave your home, the walls begin to mean something to you”. I started looking at the walls and saying, will I really leave all this and move on? It was a tough feeling. It was difficult to make the decision to leave Syria. You leave everything you’ve built up, your friends and your family. It felt like being uprooted.

If you pay more money, the flight will be easier, the smuggler told us. We paid a lot for the trip to be comfortable, but they fooled us and the trip was tough and difficult. Among other things, we had to go under a barbed wire, travel through the sea and not knowing if we would come out safely or drown. Some people who were with us died. We also had to walk for a hole day in the woods. My children were with me, so I tried to show them that I was strong so that they would not be afraid. It was very difficult to pretend that everything was fine and that we would arrive soon. My children noticed that I was very afraid and they also wanted to show me that they were strong.

We ran out of food and water when we were in the woods. We could not do anything but to wait. It turned out that we just walked around in circles, still in the same place. We saw a dead person by the lake and were shocked. I tried to prevent my children from seeing the dead person.
We had an 8 hour stopover in Paris. I got tired and rested on the chairs and covered myself. The airport was empty and there was a guard with a dog. Suddenly I notice that they were heading for me, I could see them through the blanket. I pretended that I was sleeping and I did’nt want him him to ask me about my passport, because I was flying illegally. I was very afraid and had a quick heartbeat. He tried to wake me up. I wanted to show him that I was a regular traveler, so I looked out of the blanket and said with a smile: Can I go back to sleep? Then he looked at me with a smile and said, “Yes, you can keep sleeping. But my heart was beeting quickly and then he left me.

The goal was to fly to England because we could speak the language. It would have been easier. But I had family in Sweden and most of the family wanted to go to Sweden. I want to thank God that I managed to get started so quickly and work as an interpreter after 1 year and 10 months. I still work as an interpreter. Next month I will apply to the university and complete my education from Syria. I worked as a teacher there. After 1.5 years I will get my teacher’s ID.

I managed the difficult time and the flight. Now I have moved on and I live a good life. My dream and my goal is to secure the future of my children. My dream is to see the kids study something they like. I want time to go fast so I can see my children in the future. I want to see what they choose to study. I have built this for them. For my part, I am in the right direction and it is becoming a teacher. Now I focus on the children that they are heading in the right direction and I know they will reach their goals.

A Million Stories Sweden: Nizar Keblawi, Nina Olsson, Sara Sarabi, Malin Gillberg, Daniel Björklund, Mats Nordström.

A Million Stories Sweden volunteers: Fariborz Ghadir, Mohamad Mohsin, Yazan Saad, Tarek Aloudallah, Dalia Saleem, Yara Ali, Ahmad Younes, Chaimae Hamri.

In association with



Dublin Core: Language: swe Subject: asylum, refugees, A Million Stories, Sweden