“You have to stand on your legs and live on”

My name is Mostafa and I am Palestinian journalist from Syria. My nation is of course Palestine, because it is in my heart, but wherever I go and meet nice people, I feel it’s my nation. To leave and flee from a country and from people you love is difficult. Generally, I live well, I live now with my wife and two children, but my son could not come here, he got stuck in Germany. We feel safe, but you still have trouble from what happened in Syria. Missing my family and friends, it feels like something was finely kidnapped from us.

Before we fled, I lived with my great family in the Yarmouk refugee camp. In a few months, our family is spread in 6 countries, from South America to Europe. Before we left Yarmuk, the whole family gathered at my place. It was my dad and mom, my siblings and their children, we were about 30-35 people at my place. It was during the fasting month of Ramadan. It’s great when the whole family is gathering. I knew it was the last time we met and I did not know when we will meet again.

I do not know if we will ever meet again in the same place, nor do I know how I made the decision to fly from one country to another. The decision took only a few hours. I did not have time to think. We found a good opportunity for one of my children to flee first to Sweden, and live together with grandmother and grandfather in Sweden. It was my responsibility to make a decision, but it was my son who made the decision and said he would leave. He left and we had to wait a whole year to accompany the dream, but the dream was not complete because my older son did not get reunited with us. He had to take the difficult and long road and went through about 10 countries. His journey took about 9 months. He encountered many difficulties, through mountains, forests and the sea. He had to be in prison, beaten and tortured. It happened that we had no contact for 1-2 weeks and did not know where he was. Once we heard nothing from him for 2 months. He got stuck in the Czech Republic. But eventually he arrived at Germany but unfortunately did not live with us in Sweden.

I miss everything from the Yarmouk refugee camp. I miss the refugee settlement because it was a place for Palestinians. You felt at home there. It was a place that affected and helped all Palestinians who lived there. But unfortunately it’s over.

I do not know if it can come back. But you have to stand on your legs and live on, I hope to be once again reunited with my family.

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