“I started crying for help”

My name is Nashaat. I am 28 years old and come from Damascus in Syria.

I’m interested in art, and decided to study drama. Before the unrest in the country I came to university but wanted to get military training done first. Because I did not want to get ready for my studies and then do military training, I wanted to go straight to the labor market after studying. I started military training and then the unrest began and I got stuck there. Our native language is Turkish, we also speak Turkish at home, so my family decided to fly to Turkey. My family also wanted me to come along and not stay in military training, not to be on anyone’s side.

During military training, I sat at a desk and learned to use a computer and use programs. Then I thought about safety and also wanted to flee to my family and live in freedom. I was also imprisoned during my time in military training. I had a USB stick that I was responsible for. There was no important material on the USB stick, there were only a few files. They started asking me where the USB stick was, ”we want to know now where it has disappeared to. Imagine if the USB stick has reached the free army”. I told them: I promise I do not know where it is. Maybe someone has stolen it or it has disappeared in some way. They interrogated me for two months and I was moved between different police stations. I really did not know where the USB memory was. In the end they put me in “Sadnaya”, which is Syrian Guantanamo.

My family had left, but me and my dad stayed. My dad was a journalist on the Baath newspaper. I felt good on the inside because my family was in safety out of the country, besides my dad who was waiting for his insurance papers. But unfortunately he got a heart attack when I and he were at home. I could not leave home because the government was after me. There were only elderly in the area for all young people had left the country. I started crying for help because my dad lay down and saliva ran from his mouth. I ran out and screamed for help. The elderly women called the ambulance, I wanted to come with, but they told me the government is looking for you and you can not go with. They took him to the hospital and after five sleepless days I heard my father’s death being announced from the speakers in the area. This affected me a lot and I received treatment in Turkey when I went there. I saw my dad in front of me all the time.

I had friends and relatives who had fled through Libya before me. My best friend drowned on the way to Italy. I began to hesitate after hearing about my friend’s death. All mothers are opposed to their sons fleeing. My mom told me, do you want to flee now when I finally see you here? My mom said: don’t go. But I told her I do this for my future, I have no future here, I speak Turkish but have no papers. Who am I? I have no legal proof. How can I get married?

I then fled with a dinghy and arrived at Kos in Greece after two hours. We then went through Macedonia and continued in cars. They dropped us off in Austria. The car journey took 17 hours. I was in the trunk with four other people. I was afraid that I would faint. I started telling them to please open a window. I was afraid that what happend in that truck in Austria would happen to us too. I am allergic to smells and imagine that we were many in the car and there was sweat  odeur. I told them again please I have allergies, just take me to a window. I began to pray on the road that I would not lose my breath and be dizzy. We arrived and they took us out and told us that we would have to make it on our own from now on. When we arrived in Sweden, I said: Finally Sweden! Europe!.

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.

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