Samer Alfahed is 55 years old and from Damascus, Syria.
I came to Denmark in 2014, on march 6th. In my homeland I owned a factory that made childrens clothes, and girls clothes was our speciality. Before the war my life was very good. I had lots of money and cars. My company was successful and we exported clothes to Saudi Arabia, Kuwait etc. The factory was located in the countryside.
The free army started to make demonstrations, and every Friday they made propaganda in the mosque. I sent my family, wife and children to Damascus where it was more safe to be. I stayed at the factory with my brother to protect our property. Soon after the electricity and water supplies stopped, and we had to leave. I left everything behind because of the dangerous situation in the area. Everyone left. I rented a house in Damascus where I lived with my family. But, in 2013 I had to leave, since Assad forced all young men to go to military service. I was very afraid for my family. Assad would send boys and men to the front line of the war and they would all come back dead. I fled to Europe and left my family in Damascus, so they didn’t have to take this dangerous trip.
I payed money to an agent and a high level military officer to get me out of Damascus. The first place we got to was Lebanon. Form Lebanon we took a plane to Turkey. From Turkey I got in a “ballam” (inflatable boat) to Samos, Greece. The trip was very dangerous. It took us six hours, in the middle of the night. We turned off all our mobile phones and light because we were afraid that the Turkish police would catch us. I spent 3 days in a refugee camp on Samos. They took my photo and finger prints. They gave me permission to leave the camp after one day. For four months I tried to leave Greece without success. I tried to pay an agent to help me but had no luck. The ninth time I tried, I succeeded. I bought a fake Belgium passport that got me through customs at the airport. From there I fled to Denmark. When I arrived here, I went to Sandholm where they took my fingerprints again. From there I went to Atterød. I stayed there for an month and then got permission to stay. I got temporary accommodation. And, after seven months I got family reunification for my wife, two girls and two boys.
In Denmark, I have a job where I repair clothes, and I am very happy to be here. For the politicians, I’d like to tell them to please be a little easier on us. Give us a chance because we are trying our best!