Story of Abed
My name is Abed; I fled Syria 5 years ago & came to Belfast, Ireland. I left due to the war & conflicts, the corrupt and criminal organisations against humanity. My wife & 7 children were still in Syria as they could not leave because they were in direct line of conflict.
The situation was hell, more than that, more than you can imagine. For me, I saw everything with my own eyes. This is only a tiny part of the suffering that many people & I have faced.
My journey to the UK was anything but simple. I escaped Syria, traveled to Europe, and made it to the Greek island of Chios. Unfortunately, I met others, and we decided to migrate to Macedonia. After months of hardship, I made it to the UK, where I claimed asylum & given residence papers.
More than 3,000 miles away, my wife & 7 children attempted to move to neighbouring countries, but ISIS controlled entrances to the city from 2013 to the end of 2017. I was in constant contact with my wife and children and did not miss a moment. I thought about them during the day and lived far away from them. I suffered a lot to save them money for food, drink, medicine, home, and clothing.
They eventually made it to Damascus in 2017 to get new immigration papers which they had lost in the war. Finally, they made it to Beirut to attend their first visa interview in 2018. They were refused, and after months of visa rejections, they ran out of money. The counsellor was not convinced that this was my wife and children and asked me to present evidence, but I did not have any. It was a difficult time.
After providing DNA, finally, in November 2019, their visas were approved. However, then the pandemic hit, leaving me worried if I would ever see his family. When my wife found only six available when she went to collect the visas, this left my youngest and my wife stranded. My six children were eventually flown to join me.
Finally, my wife and my youngest were issued visas, and they flew to me in October. So we are all together and safe now.
Written by Rethinking Refugees
Photo © BBC