You don’t have much choice when the Kurds ask you to join their army.
I earned my life in Lebanon for almost three years
During that time, I witnessed more and more refugees establishing themselves in Lebanon and consequently how the living conditions dramatically worsened. The first eighteen months in Beirut were okay. I worked as a bartender, very successfully actually. I got more and more responsibilities. Then the mindset and the attitude towards refugees shifted. There were so many refugees arriving. The jobs got scarce, wages dropped. Many Lebanese consider Syrians as a threat to their economy. It got increasingly difficult to find work and earn a decent salary. Refugees were denied access to work.
I googled “good countries for refugees”
The situation got so unstable, I started to think about the possibility to leave for Europe. I knew many people who had left Lebanon for Germany. I spent much time reading about the European countries. I googled, “good countries for refugees”. It came out that Belgium in Luxembourg were the right choices for me. The website said, “Open-minded, nice people”. My friends in Germany, though, told me not to go to Luxembourg as they considered the chances to be recognized as a refugee were very small. I didn’t care and made my firm decision to head for Luxembourg.
Cathy – my “princess sister”
I met Cathy in Hariko. She wanted to learn Arabic and she hoped she might meet some person there who could teach her. Marianne Donven who runs Hariko suggested me and I agreed immediately. That was the beginning of our friendship. We communicated in English, she taught me French grammar and, in return, I taught her Arabic.
I have three mothers now in my life
My Syrian mother, Rita, my Luxembourgish mother (Cathy’s mother), and my Belgium mother Chantal whom I met a few months ago. Rita helped and still helps me for everything like accompanying me somewhere, arranging things for me, and most importantly, giving me the family feeling—warmth and emotional support. Chantal and her husband also support me daily. She tries to find jobs for me and she relentlessly practices French with me. She makes me feel like I’m her son. She is there for me for everything. She cares for me. I try to be helpful, too, even if nothing that I will ever do will be enough to say thank you.