Hanade and Riham

“I am Hanade and this is my younger sister Riham. We just arrived in Berlin today, after a hard 21-day journey from Syria. Along with me came my two sisters and my father. We are ok now, only our uncertain situation here is troubling me.

The fleeing already cost 16,000$ for 4 persons and for now, I had to leave my husband and two children behind. I am missing them a lot and it’s hard, but all I am thinking of is the future. My dream is to live in a small house together with my family – here or back in Syria – but in peace. Peace is the most important thing.

Our neighborhood in Damascus is completely destroyed. After the war started, we fled to another part of Syria, hoping the situation will get better and we can return to our city. My father being a designer and entrepreneur, we had a very good life in Syria.

Then the war spread to other parts of the country as well and we fled to Lebanon, staying for almost 3 years, waiting again for the situation back home to get better. But it didn’t. As Syrian refugees we had to stick to a curfew and you only earn half the money of what the locals get. Most importantly, our children were not allowed to go to school, which became my biggest worry of course. I want my children to have a future through education! As a result, life in Lebanon was no option for us.

First, my brother Moutas took on the journey to Germany alone. Six months later, we followed him. We never got used to the constant danger and stress along the way. Especially in Macedonia and Hungary we had no food and very bad conditions, plus the police was threatening us. Bit by bit we lost all our belongings, leaving us with only what we are wearing now.”