Alladin, a refugee from Syria

Syria Homs bombing refugeeHoms in Syria after being bombed by the Assad regime. Photo: Jouret Shiyah

Alladin, a refugee from Syria in Norway

My name is Aladdin, born in Homs, Syria in 1994. I lived with my family in a big house in the middle of town. We were doing very well until 2011 when the revolution started. This is the story of how I became a refugee in Norway.


I was one of the first to participate in the demonstrations against the regime. Because of that, I was incarnated for a month in an underground prison, my cell was 2 × 1 metres. My only friend was a rat that came up from the cesspit.

After a month, I had to provide fingerprints to Assad using my own blood as ink, to cast my vote in a popular vote in favour of a regime I was opposed to.

Then I was released from prison and was allowed to go home to my baba (father).

I was disallowed to continue my studies at the university as a pharmacist.

I also had to move from my family to an area outside Damascus called Yabroud, to avoid entering the military and thus fighting against my own people.

In the countryside

My family had to flee to our holiday home in the countryside, where they still reside 7 years down the road. I received some money from my father and made a living by running a computer store, and lived there until December 5th, 2013. Then the house I lived in was bombed by the Assad regime. I did not remember anything before I woke up in a hospital, just across the border between Syria and Lebanon. After this, I could not travel back to Syria.

My family did not know where I was or what happened to me, but fortunately, I could call my father, who informed me that my grandparents had fled to Lebanon in 2011 and that they rented a house in Tripoli.

I then received some money from dad to pay human traffickers so I could travel to meet my grandparents.

I stayed in their house and had to register with the UN to obtain proof that I was a refuge – so that I would not be imprisoned or returned to Syria. The next day I was called by UNCHR who asked if I wished to leave Lebanon to go somewhere in Europe. I got the choice between five possible countries, namely Norway, Canada, Sweden, Germany and Switzerland.

Chose Norway

My choice was Norway, following the recommendation from a girl who worked for the Norwegian Foreign Office (UDI) in Lebanon. One and a half years after I was summoned for a third, and final, interview with the UDI, where they told me that my plane would leave for Norway on August 27th, 2015.

I had to sit next to the family “Abdul” and Abo Bader on the plane.

Before we landed at Gardermoen, I saw only forests and trees and wondered where the heck the people of this country live.

I came from a city with five million inhabitants to a whole country with five million… Three days later, I was with the Abdul family from northern Syria, and I saw a very dirty car. I then wrote “wash me please” in the dust.

Thus I came to know “Monica”, who became my Norwegian teacher. I learned a lot about my new homeland and language in a short period of time from her. We worked together as volunteers at the refugee reception in the municipality, speaking in Arabic, English and Norwegian. We drove around and picked up things and clothes, and became familiar with both Norwegians and refugees from several countries.

Then I started with the introductory courses and learned even more Norwegian at the Kiwi supermarket, and among the Norwegians there. Today, I am attending high school in the second grade, with the aim of studying as either a pharmacist or neurologist after finishing third grade.

My biggest wish is for one day to return to a free Syria and to reunite with my family there.


© #Norway Today