“Fortunately, we are together, and we can support each other.”

“Fortunately, we are together, and we can support each other.”

Youssef: “I am 18, and I am here with my brother Mohamed Nour, who is three years older. When did I last laugh? Actually, that was last night. One of my roommates shook me awake and said: ‘Go, go, go! Jump! Dance!’. For about 15 minutes!  I often do that to him, that’s why. In Damascus we lived with our father, mother and 13-year old sister. The final days before our departure were difficult. My parents are important to me, but still we were leaving. Actually I don’t want to be reminded of this. I can’t talk about it.”

Mohamed Nour: “I was called up for military duty. Because I was a student, the date had been postponed to December 2015. I studied law. Whether you want to or not, they come to get you. There is no way out of it in Syria, you can’t object. What gave you that idea! If you don’t report for duty, they arrest you and put you in the frontlines against IS. My parents live in a very troublous part of Damascus. Just last week there was a big IS attack, they really are everywhere. We try to contact our parents every day using WhatsApp. Fortunately, we are together, and we can support each other.”

Youssef: “I’ll give you an example. On our way to Western Europe we were stuck in Serbia for five days. My brother was ready to give up. But I managed to encourage him and convinced him to keep up. We really need each other. Luckily, I can go to school here now. With young people from all over the world: Iraq, Yemen, and so on. The last lesson of the day is usually drama. The teacher is really good: we are acting, but the most important thing is actually that we can laugh for a whole hour. That’s such a relief.”


Yousef (18) and Mohamed Nour (21) Alagha from Damascus, Syria

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