“With two of my sons I came to the Netherlands.”
“Hold on, I need to change my son’s clothes first. Then we’ll come back for the photograph. This is better. His hair didn’t look good. I had to put some gel in it.
My wife and four of our children are in Lebanon. We have six children. With two of my sons I came to the Netherlands. It is very expensive to travel to the Netherlands. There wasn’t enough money for the whole family to come at the same time. I went on with my sons Yousef and Mohammed. Now we are in Groningen. The people in Groningen are really lovely, but I don’t often leave the refugee centre. I spend most of my time taking care of my sons. I make sure they get enough to eat, I bring them to school, I do the laundry and I play games with them. Here in the recreation room we play table tennis and table football.
I am from Palestine, but I lived in Homs, in Syria, for a long time. I lived there with my wife and six children. I was a construction worker. I painted houses, repaired bathrooms, that kind of thing. It was too dangerous to stay there. We left for Lebanon with the whole family, to continue to the Netherlands. I stay in touch with my wife and children through Facebook and WhatsApp. They are doing fine. I hope that they can come here soon so that we can be together again.”
Kamal Basjuni (40) and son Yousef (4) from Palestine