16 June, 2016

My story as a refugee: Sara from Syria

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Category: Refugees, Refugees' stories
Viktor Szabados
7 am

“My name is Sarah Mardini I am 20 years old. I came from Syria, Damascus city. I left Syria on the 12th of August 2015. The reason that I left my country is because I was running after my career as a swimmer and now with the war there is no future with swimming anymore. I decided to go in this journey with my little sister.

As everyone we took the airplane from Damascus airport to get to Istanbul, Turkey. After we arrived at Istanbul we took the bus which was organized by the smuggler to Izmir. We stayed at the grungle for four days waiting for turn to take the boat to island Lesbos, Greece.

Finally our turn came, we were 20 persons in a boat for 7 people. Me and my sister and one women and 17 man with a little kid. At the beginning everything was going well, after 15 minutes the motor stopped, I saw tears in everyone’s eyes. The voices started to be so loud and everyone was terrified. One man decided to go into the water. As a professional swimmer and lifeguard I decided to go into the water with him. Everyone was watching me when I jumped into the water, I can’t describe my emotions at this moment. I felt like it was the first time for me being in the water. I was in the water trying to push the boat. My sister decided to join me and we were together in the water trying with all our power that we had to save the boat and the people on it. After 3 hours of swimming trying to push the boat we got to island Lesbos, Greece. For me as a swimmer it was so horrible experience. It took 7 hours to get to the island.

As a refugee you need to get so called rejection papers from the country you pass. After we got this paper and a ticket to a big ship we travelled to Athens. When we arrived to Athens we took a bus to Macedonia. From there we were walking on the train tracks to get to Serbia. From Serbia we took a bus to the borders of Hungary. In Budapest, Hungary the situation was really bad. We got stuck there for 10 days. We tried a lot with every smuggler we knew to get away from this dark city. Nothing was working out well there for us. I must say I hated this country from all of my heart at this moment. The worst part of the journey was an extremist Nazi group attacked us in the front of the Budapest Keleti (Eastern) train station. As most of the refugees are Muslim we were also attacked. After that horrible situation the German government decided to send busses to get all the refugees to Germany. We took the bus which took us to Vienna, Austria. From there a train took us to Munich, Germany. Finally we made it after 25 days we arrived to Germany.
I got registered on the 7th of September 2015 in my new home country. After all we found a good sport club and now my sister is going to compete at the Summer Olympic Games in Brazil this year. Because I hurt my shoulders on the way from Syria to Germany I lost the chance to swim as professional but I can be proud of my little sister. Now I am learning German and I am doing an internship to become a reporter because I want to go back to the road of refugees and help the refugees like me. I also plan to study human rights at university.

Sometimes I hate everything here and the other times I love it. I feel more comfortable here and now, if I think about something to do, I can just do it without any fears. If you ask me what Europe could do, my answer is, just don’t be quite while seeing how people are dying in other parts of the Europe or behind its borders. Help to stop the war in our countries.” – Sara

/The panel discussions WPAwelcome, WPAmeet on the refugee thematic was organised by the German Youth Council – DBJR with Sara as panel guest; the refugee installation at the EYE2016 & YO!Fest was initiated by the War & Peace hub member organisations German Youth Council – DBJR and the No Hate Speech Movement – NHSM

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