I was 15 when we left our home in Aleppo in Syria

“I was 15 when we left our home in Aleppo in Syria. We didn’t want to, but the war was just around the corner and the army wanted to take me and my brothers. My dad left for Egypt to make some money. He works as a musician at weddings and parties and it took him about six months to make enough money, about 7000 euros, to pay the smugglers to get us to Turkey. We spent three years in Turkey, we stopped studying and started working. I was working in a plastic factory 12 hours a day, 6 days a week, but Dad had a plan! He wanted to take us to Germany for a better future. We became very poor as we had to save every penny. We all applied for visas but for some unknown reason, mine was rejected. My brothers had to leave without me and my parents. My dad and my mother stayed with me until we figured out how I will make it to Germany. We all knew that I would have to try to go alone. It was a hard decision for all of us as it was not guaranteed I would make it. I tried it on land twice but I failed both times. They caught me, beat me up, and threw me in jail for weeks. I could hardly get back home. All my belongings were stolen or destroyed and there were times when my parents didn’t hear from me for days. When I finally arrived back home, I waited a few weeks before I decided to try by sea. My father helped me find smugglers, it was a really hard decision for him but he knew there was no other option. That was the first time I saw my father cry, I wanted to cry too but I didn’t want him to see me as weak. I wanted him to know that his son is a grown man now and that he can trust me. That was actually the last time I saw them…”

It took Mulham two more attempts to get to Chios island in Greece by boat. He has been on the island for 18 months now but next month will get his visa to Germany and see his family again. For the first time in nearly two years, the whole family will be together again. He is very excited!

This is only a short version of his story, but the audio file of the full interview is available below.