I remember a day where my dad was very worried about us

Shahd Alkurdi is a  13 year old girl from Damascus, Syria

I came to Denmark on February 16th 2015 with my mother and my brother. We flew here, mother had been granted family reunification with my dad. I was 10 years old when I arrived in Denmark, today I am 13 years old.

From Syria I remember things were rough. I could see my country fall apart, be destroyed with my own eyes. We lived in a place where there was a good view. You could see the entire city. You could see how the bombs fell. You could see the smoke and the fire.

In Syria, my dad was a well-known journalist. He was good at writing poems etc. Here no one knows us. We went to a special school where we spoke English, French and Arabic. I don’t really remember French now, but I liked to go to school there. I had many good friends.

I remember a day where my dad was very worried about us. There was a bomb close to our school, and he said we had to do something about it. It was a conversation between my mother and dad but I heard everything. I didn’t know he would move, I just knew he would do something about it. So, I went to bed and didn’t think about it, but when I woke up next morning, my dad had left. I didn’t know where he went, I was told he went to work, on some trip. For four months I was told he went to Lebanon, but when I talked to him on the phone one day, he told me he was in Denmark.

I asked him if we could come and be with him, if he’d received any answer about us going to be with him. He always said he didn’t chek the mailbox, or that it rained so he didn’t want to go outside and check for mail, but in reality he didn’t like telling us that he had no reply yet. But, finally there was an answer, and we flew to Denmark. I clearly remember the first day when we arrived, I thought he looked taller and skinnier than before. He hadn’t eaten properly for a long time.

My dad got a house in Nyborg, and we moved in there.

It was nice to get away from war, but it was very cold here. I felt sad, because all my friends were in Syria. I started at language school and went there for six months. I was the first there to learn Danish so fast, other students there had been trying to learn Danish for three years. My mom had taught me a good skill: Every day, come home with five new words. After a while, come home with five new sentences. So, I learned Danish fast, and I think that since I’ve studied English and French, I was a fast learner at Danish. I love languages. If I could, I would learn every language there is.

I came to real school in 4th grade. It was different, but I like the school where I go. I have many friends here now and I use an app that a friend of mine showed me, where you can get friends all over the country that are the same age as I am.

I would like to say that you have to remember to move forward in life. Don’t feel sorry about what is in the past. Everything will be fine.

Dublin Core: Language: en Subject: refugee, asylum, a million stories, denmark, damascus, syria, child