Ahmed, Syria

“In Syria, you are worth exactly one bullet if you don’t want to go to the army.”


I was living in a good family in Syria. I finished my college and the university one year ago. I am an engineer. In my family we don’t care for politics. We just want a quiet and peaceful life. My father is an electric engineer. We are five people in our family: 3 children and my parents. I and my twin sister are the youngest. I lived in the Homs region. I really tried to come to Germany in a legal way. I studied in Aleppo, but when I finished my studies I didn’t get my papers due to the war. After some months I finally got them and went to Damascus to have them translated into German. I then sent my papers to Germany to sign in for a master in engineering. But by that time the winter semester had already started. I would have had to wait until March or April to know if they would accept me. I then would have had to pay a huge amount of money to get an appointment in the embassy in Lebanon and it would have taken another seven months to get a visa for Germany. Before that, the army would have gotten me and sent me to the front! They treat us like animals, machines, toys. In Syria, you are worth exactly one bullet if you don’t want to go to the army. I couldn’t wait any longer. If you are in the right age of the military you cannot go out of the city, even if the war is directly there. My parents and my bigger brother are still there and cannot go out. It’s like a big jail.


When I came to Germany after my big trip I washed my clothes 3 times because they smelled too bad. I was so happy to finally get a hot shower after 15 days! In Germany I got on the train and arrived in Göttingen. In Friedland, I got a room number at the registration desk. When I arrived at my room, there was a family who was very worried about their children. They wouldn’t let me in! I said I am not interested in anything but a warm bed. I had to go back to the registration desk and tell the whole issue. At the end I got a place in a big tent. I cried for one hour. First the war and this huge journey and then I had to stay in this mess! I said I want to learn German. They sent me to the German course in the camp. I really appreciate the work the volunteers do, but if I can only continue like this it will take me 3 years to learn German! I want to make my exam and to have my transfer! I am angry and disappointed because of that. I wanted to go and see my close friends for one weekend in Lüneburg, but they didn’t let me! I said I’ll come back after, I just want a break. They just said no. They said either my friend has to care for me and pay everything or I have to stay here. It’s not fair! Many people have a hard time here. Maybe after 1 year I have a good life and have a chance to learn German and to work. But everything takes so long here, I don’t understand!
I appreciate everything here and the people are very nice and do everything they can do for us, but I don’t have friends who think like me.


Beratungs- und Aktionszentrum Friedland