My Life Outside Syria: Diary Entry 60
Marah, a teenage girl from one of Syria’s besieged cities, has been sharing her stories of life in the war. With her mother and siblings, she left Syria, stopping off in Turkey before making the precarious crossing to Greece by boat. Now in Switzerland, she describes her life in a new country
Just when I finally start to feel settled, a new storm comes and destabilizes my world again.
As you all know, I made it to Switzerland, this peaceful and beautiful country, I got married to a great man and I am finally looking forward to a bright future, next to my husband and my family, whom I love and trust. My family and I have been here for two months and we are finally feeling safe and settled, but one small decision shook our world again, threatening our new lives here.
We received a decision from the government that my middle sister must leave Switzerland for Germany because, according to the law, Germany was the state in which she first applied for asylum and where she was fingerprinted. We were all shocked. How could this girl live away from her own family? Her family is the only thing she has that gives her safety and stability. She has just gotten out of a war zone, and a failed engagement and she had finally found a place to heal. It is true that she is more than 18 years old, and she can theoretically take care of herself, but that does not mean that she should be separated from her own family.
My mother collapsed when she heard the news, and that disturbed us even more. She worked so hard to keep us together, and now she realizes that she might lose her own daughter. My brother was deeply affected by the news and by our mother’s collapse. They have already been living under a lot of pressure – living in the camp with people from different cultures and with different habits was not easy for them. For a moment I had hope that we could do something to change the decision, but later on, we learned that my mother’s application was rejected as well. At that moment, I collapsed as well.
Some of you might think that I have forgotten about my family since I have been talking about my husband a lot, but that can never happen. My family and I are very close. They mean everything to me. The years of war brought us closer to each other, and our close and strong relationship was what helped us get through impossibly hard times back in Syria.
It seems that I was wrong when I thought that European countries respect human rights and care for the emotional needs of people. I’ve realized that they issue general decisions and orders without taking special cases into consideration. What gives them the right to separate our family and scatter us in different countries? How can they ignore all of what we have been through, just because they want to follow the law? What is the goal of the law anyway? Isn’t the law in place to protect people’s rights? I cannot believe that I am in a European country. How about the tolerance they claim to honor? One decision is able to destroy an entire family. My mother worked very hard to get us here. She borrowed heaps of money and is now sinking in debt, only so that we might stay together and live in a safe place. But fate has played its nasty game once again.
When we arrived in Germany, the border patrol forced us to go through the fingerprinting process, although we told them that we were only passing through their country and that our destination was Switzerland. They told us that that it was a necessary procedure, and that it did not mean anything. We only spent two hours in Germany, but it looks like those two hours are meant to change our lives forever.
I cannot believe that the official authorities lied to us. Whom can we trust anymore? No one is reliable. They all lie. This is how life goes. I always thought that refugees were protected, but it looks like they are deprived of all rights. They are not allowed to defend themselves, or even hire a lawyer to defend their cases.
There is nothing in my hands that I can do to help them. I feel helpless, and that stresses me out. I have been fighting with my husband for very silly reasons, and I have completely neglected my studies. Their dilemma occupies my mind, and I cannot focus on or even think of anything else. I am tired of facing one obstacle after another. Can’t life just be nice to us?
Finally, I ask for your counsel. Do you know if there is any way to keep them with me, here in Switzerland? Please, help me!
The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Syria Deeply.