I was alone in Saudi Arabia

Rayah Alshaar is 36 years old and from Hama, Syria.

I came to Denmark on june 16th 2016. I live in Kirke Hyllinge with my husband and five children.

Before the war my life was very beautiful. When I was a baby, many years ago on February 28th, Hafez Al Assad and his soldiers came to our house, and all houses in my hometown of Hama, and killed all males over the age of 16. I lost my father and five uncles. The soldiers kicked open our door at 4AM, and murdered my father in front of my mother, me and my sisters. The reason was that Hama was the centre of a beginning of a revolution against the regime, against Hafez Al Assad, the father of Bashar Al Assad. My mother took care of me and my sisters my whole childhood. I got married when I was 18. It was a beautiful day. Eight months later I gave birth to my first child. A son. I now have five children. I had cesarean sections with all of them.

When the war started they arrested my husband. They tortured him. I was afraid that they would kill him like they did to my father many years ago. When he was released he escaped from Syria, and went to Saudi Arabia. When I tried to escape with three of my five children (my two youngest was not born yet), the soldiers arrested me and my children. They wouldn’t let me cross the border. Only if I gave them my husband, but he had already left the country. They called my husband on the phone and the soldiers agreed to release us and let us cross the border if my husband payed 125.000 syrian pounds per person. So, we had to pay. I went to Saudi Arabia with my husband, and we stayed there for two years. My husband left for Europe. Five months before I gave birth to my second youngest daughter. I was alone in Saudi Arabia. That was extremely difficult to be alone as a woman. I cried on the phone when I talked to him. It was so hard at the hospital, I had a cesarean section and I had to stay there with my baby daughter for 15 days because she had jaundice. My sister stayed with my three other children while we were at the hospital.

When my baby was one year and eight months we were granted family reunification to go to Denmark and stay with my husband. When I got to the airport in Saudi Arabia they wouldn’t let us leave. In Saudi Arabia the law says that if you want to travel, you must have a valid permission to stay. My permission in Saudi Arabia had expired. We had to apply for a new one, but the authorities would not give it to me without my husband being there. Again, we had to bribe the authorities with 2000 saudi Arabian dollars per passport. Then we came to Denmark.
When I came here, the first thing I remember is the cold weather. The authorities treated me very badly. At that time I was pregnant but unfortunately I had a miscarriage. I was very tired and bleeding. The municipality kept calling me and threatened me to take away my allowance to stay if I didn’t go to my internship. Since then I said I don’t want any money from them. My husband support me financially, since he has a good job. I enjoy my life now, but my dream is to one day see my mother again in Hama.

Dublin Core: Language: en Subject: a million stories, denmark, syria, hama, saudi arabia, bribe, refugee,