We lived in peace,
then war came to us.
It destroyed all that was good in our lives.
My parents were helpless,
with no way out of the crisis.

One day my father went to work as normal,
but did not return.
My mother was desperate, and we shed many tears.
In the evening came a telephone call from father.
We have to leave the country, our home.

On the way to Jordan I was absolutely exhausted.
Everything was very expensive.
Syrians were not allowed to work.
We could not stay.

We flew from Jordan to Algeria.
Friends gave us money for the ticket.
In Algeria we did not know where we could go.
My father looked for work in vain.
A friend told him about the illegal route to Morocco.

We had no choice and set off.
The journey was tiring, expensive, frustrating.
When we arrived in Morocco there was a beautiful view of the sea.
And Moroccan authorities who wanted to send us back to Algeria.

We had no choice. We went all the way back.
The return journey was even more tiring, expensive, frustrating.
We knew we could not stay in Algeria.
My father decided to flee to Europe via Libya.
Across the stony border route to Tunisia and overcrowded Libya.
In Libya a meeting with smugglers.
They were to take us to Europe on the death route.

The journey by boat was expensive.
People were afraid.
My father got life jackets for us so we would not drown.
We had only the life jackets, our rucksacks filled with food and blankets for the children.

We did not know our fate.
Did not know whether we would survive.
Either saved.
Or dead.

The rubber boat was overcrowded, with 150 people from every country.
We travelled by night.
I was surrounded by fear of the unknown.
I counted the hours until dawn.
The boat rocked right and left, the waves rose.
After hours of tension and tiredness, the boat started to sink.
Then: the Italian coastguards in the distance.
Children and women were saved first, then the men.

We took a train to Germany.
At last: safety and freedom.
We all wept for joy.