Most people have a false impression of the situation in my country. They think that when other countries interfere, something improves, but it only makes it worse.
I fled for political reasons. No one can stand the violence and the unfair treatment and no one can oppose it. The political situation in Syria has always been critical, but it was only after the revolution that the way of punishment became worse. There was either eternal imprisonment or death penalty. Nobody dared to say that we were living in fear. In our country it was said that the walls have big ears. We were very afraid of punishment.
The Egyptian Revolution gave us hope for a similar success. In our country, there is no such thing as freedom. A criminal and murderer gets away with it, if you defend yourself, you will be punished for it. When the revolution began in Syria, we were happy and anxious at the same time. When the demos began, your mere presence was enough to demonstrate that you were against the government. That was not always true. From then on you had no value for the Syrian government. I studied in Homs at that time, it started with gun conflicts in Homs, then the university had to close and we took our final exams in another city.
I finished my medical studies in the middle of the war. I don’t even remember how I managed that. I visited demos and studied. We wore scarves on our faces because we were afraid of being recognized. I carried corpses into their graves during the demos. I saw all that. People were murdered who had nothing to do with the demo. For us who were on the demos, there was no difference whether we lived or died. In Syria we lived as if we were dead. We were very afraid for our family. After my studies I worked for three months in a hospital in Syria. We cared for the injured soldiers, we were guarded by officers.
If someone had the feeling that we did not take good care of the soldier, there were big problems. It could cost us doctors our lives. Once soldiers brought a clinically dead man to the hospital. He could not be rescued. The officers blamed the doctor, threatened him and pursued him. The director of the hospital could not protect the doctor. He fled the hospital, another one stayed there. That is one of the reasons why I left my homeland. Many things happened in the hospital that tortured me and that I will never forget until today.
My brothers and sisters lived in another city, and one day I was called by a doctor. I was supposed to call my family. Something was wrong, I noticed it immediately. When I called, I heard about the death of my brother. To this day I have not visited his grave. I stayed at home for days. My family taught me since my childhood that a man should not cry, but I couldn’t do it, I just couldn’t stand it anymore. I felt as if I had lost everything. My brother was the most valuable person for me. Everything beautiful was united in him. He was indescribable, a real man and a role model for me in many ways. My whole family was shocked. May he rest in peace. The fact that I have not seen him again makes me sad to this day.
I could not bear the feeling that I was serving those people with my work who are responsible for the death of my brother and many other people. I felt as if I had lost everything. My brother was the most dear person for me. Everything beautiful was united in him. We were five brothers and sisters. I could not stay any longer. Either I go to Idlib, a town in Syria, or I flee to Germany. I decided to go to Germany. Sometimes I regret my decision because I have the feeling that I cannot help here as I would in Idlib. I went to Lebanon, after three months then to Turkey, to Greece, until I arrived in Germany. I have been living in Germany since the end of 2015, without a family. I get support from the Jobcenter. In Syria I could always concentrate on my studies, nobody had to ask for money. Here it’s different, unfortunately.
Because of the high pressure, I don’t understand so quickly anymore. I no longer feel as smart as in Syria. It is difficult for me. In Syria we have always supported each other as a family, even if something was missing, it was not noticed. It is not an exaggeration to say that the burden of war and the fear of death was easier for me than the state I am in today. I have the feeling that I have not yet achieved anything. A person who comes out of war and had everything before, for him the beginning is very difficult. I dreamed of becoming a successful doctor in Syria, earning a lot of money and marrying a beautiful woman. That’s what I’ve dreamed of since I was a child. Today, in Germany, I dream of doing my medical specialist, earning enough money, supporting my family and starting my own family.
I would like to tell the people in Europe that the situation in Syria is not as it is always presented. Not only ISIS is a problem, but also the dictatorship is to blame for the current situation of the country. I would like to say that we can live together, if we stick together. My last message, if we want to live together, we have to stick together.
Storyteller’s name: Anonymous
Interviewer’s name: Sarah El Desoke
Country of origin: Syria