I have managed to balance my old life with my new life

32 year old man from Homs, Syria. Anonymous.

I came to Denmark in 2014. In Syria I owned an academic book shop next to a university. Before the war the Syrian people were like the Danish people. We had a family, a life. I went to work, visited my family. I studied at the university. I studied English literature for four years, and international law for four years. Life was beautiful before the war started.

After the first demonstrations in Homs, everything changed. I remember the day after the demonstration; no one could go to their jobs. People were missing. Some had been killed by guns, some had been arrested. Several different groups of revolutionary groups tried to take over and get to a powerful position. I remember when I wanted to flee to Turkey, I was stopped by at least ten of the groups. One of them was ISIS. I was wearing jeans and a short styled beard. So, they stopped me and asked me why I was dressed like that. That was prohibited. I said to them, I am muslim, but I dress how I want. They told med I had to pay them money (a bribe) and then I could go free. There was no moral, only money. Every time I was stopped by someone, I had to pay.
These are only headlines, that I am telling you. I remember the first day – the first bomb that was dropped in Homs. 200 people were killed. It is impossible to describe my feelings of that day, of what happened. It would take med 4-5 days, and still I could not really explain the horror of it.

Syria and Denmark are both good countries. People were happy in Syria, but lives were destroyed. The war changed Syria. I am grateful to Denmark, and to Roskilde commune. They helped me. They gave me psychological help.
When I escaped from Homs to Aleppo, I fled to Turkey. I went by boat to Italy. The boat trip was a death trip. It took seven days. We were in a rubber boat, with 250 people. I didn’t know anyone. There were a lot of handicapped people, women and children. The captain was anonymous. We didn’t know which one of the travelers it was. I could trust no one. No one. One morning very early when I woke up, I saw the coast of Italy. I saw the sun rising over the mountains. A smile came to my face.
We were forced to go to a refugee camp there, but we escaped. We got to Milan, and from there we took a small car and drove through Europe. We drove through Germany, and I was on my way to Sweden, but I was unlucky. Just before I reached the Danish border, I was caught by the Danish police. I wanted to go to Sweden, since my ex-girlfriend was there. She was also from Syria. But, I had to stay in Denmark, where I started my life again.

The first year in Denmark was very difficult. A new country, new language. It’s a good life though, because I have managed to balance my old life with my new life. I have a job at a pharmaceutical company as a facility coordinator. It’s a perfect job! It’s an international company, it’s amazing and a great chance for the future. I’ve got a lot of experience and network, which is very important in Denmark.
On august 1st I will start a new job as a social worker in the Methodist church in Copenhagen. It is very fulfilling to be needed here. I am very happy with my life now, I have Danish friends, a car, a job and network.
For all the politicians around the world: Please respect people, respect the majority.

Dublin Core: Language: en Subject: a million stories, refugee, denmark, syria, roskilde,