Who Am I?

This is Layan. She's a cancer survivor…and a refugee.

She is a mother of 6 and pretty busy as you can imagine. As a child she was given to a man against her will. He was a mean man and was very abusive. He beat her so badly that she couldn’t live without an oxygen machine for three years. On another occasion he beat her with an iron bar to such an extent she lost sight in her left eye for three months. She also battled through chemotherapy. She is a refugee from Syria and now lives in Lebanon. She has experienced abuse, illness, war and yet somehow she still sees hope for the future and for her children. Big respect to her, she is outstandingly brave. We salute you Layan!

This is Janeh, she's a 23 year old student...and a refugee.

She was a student of English literature at Damascus University. Then the conflict started. She would lie awake at night listening to the sound of bombs around the city. It became too dangerous so she and her family fled to Iraq. For some people a war might, understandably, have diminished their hopes, but not Janeh. She has now been accepted to study fine art at a local university. She spends the rest of her time running workshops for children to help with the psychological impact of war. You go Janeh!

This is Nasrin, she's a mother of three...and a refugee.

She lived in Aleppo, where her family were relatively well off. When they arrived in Iraq they lived in a tent in a refugee camp - a poor reward after contending with the difficult registration process crossing the border. A few days into their time in the camp they still had not received any blankets or mattresses and struggled to sleep for fear of being bitten by scorpions.  They were surviving on food provided by their new neighbours and the children have runny noses. She was clearly in shock at the sudden change in her family’s fortunes. Her two daughters both begin to cry when asked about their previous life in Syria. She cuddles her children to help them get to sleep, as any mother would.

This is Madj, he's a skin doctor…and a refugee.

He worked hard in Syria: he had a highly qualified job, a car and money in the bank. When we met him he had gone from that lifestyle to selling shoes by the side of the road. He decided to leave Syria as it was too dangerous. He’s been making his way to Germany laden with bags of his belongings. He is unable to access his money so, for now; he is trapped in this way of life. He feels angry that people think refugees are coming to Europe just for money and work, as his life in Syria – in his homeland - was better. His story shows that war doesn’t discriminate by economic standards. It ruins and disrupts everyone’s life.