“Either he gets killed or he has to serve. And when he serves he gets killed by terrorists”
Before 2011 when the crisis started, no one asked me for ID, no one would touch me, you could go wherever you want. I was not obligate to take my ID, I didn’t need to show it.
In the beginning of 2012 I had to show my ID wherever I went. They built the barriers, the areas of security. When you crossed the barriers and you wanted to go home, to your neighborhood, you had to show it.
If a security guard asked you for ID, you couldn’t say “I forgot it at home”, you HAD to have with you.
If you wouldn’t have your ID with you,
you would have been killed or arrested.
You prefer to die and not go to prison.
You vanish when you go to prison.
Things got worse.
I am exempted from the military, I’m not able to serve because I have an illness.
At the end of 2013, beginning of 2014 there was an area where you had to prepare yourself to join the army.
The free army kidnapped my eldest brother and we had to sell our family home to pay the ransom.
My other brother served in 2001 and they started to recall all the people and said “you have to come back to the military”.
He owned a pharmacy, he had a business, a wife, and children.
How could he do it? He started to think about a solution to get away from this problem.
Either he gets killed or he has to serve.
And when he serves he gets killed by terrorists.
This is just ONE example of a normal citizen in Syria.
“I could hardly afford to buy and eat rice or potatoes”
From 2011 – 2013 I was working for a company but after I lost my job, my circumstances became crazy. I could hardly afford to buy and eat rice or potatoes, it was too expensive for me and for many millions people like me.
Sometimes my neighbor brought me food every day because I wasn’t able to buy food.
So what can I do? To kill? I am not able to kill. To steal? My family never raised me this way.
In the beginning of 2014 I had to sell my house and to rent and live in a shop and to share it with my brother. We got a little bit better with finances. We had to buy the barriers around us so that they would stay away from us.
“Many times I watched people die in front of me. Kids, men, neighbors”
One and a half years I prayed every day because at that time I knew I could die any day.
Many times I watched people die in front of me.
Kids, men, neighbors. Many people.
They were on the bus. The bus was driving 120km/h and people got shot. You see the blood everywhere. They got shot by snipers.
That was in 2013.
There was an area 5km away from the place where I was living and I could hear the bombing all the time. The people escaped from that area to my neighborhood.
Sometimes they were doing an inspection from block to block. Maybe 150 soldiers were coming to the neighborhood. They came into your house. Sometimes they broke into the house or they knocked at the door. If it was a respectful man he would knock at the door.
I have lived in fear.
“I had the choice between being captured or being killed”
In 2012, I will never forget, the free army – as they claimed, but they are terrorists – they started to capture people to demonstrate on the street.
But we just wanted to live in our house, we didn’t want to have any problems.
The first time they came, they killed many soldiers and police men, the second time too, and the third time the government army started bombing and came with the tanks and many forces units.
You had to stay near the wall or the doorframe to protect yourself.
To go to the basement was not possible
because they shot directly to the basement.
There were a lot of kids killed by this.
There were more than 200 dead people after that – just in my area.
I was washing and suddenly a bullet came through the window and collapsed above my head. I got broken glass in my hand, I still have scarfs from that, but I didn’t go to the hospital and stayed at home.
They tried to un-exempt me from the military. They wanted to get me to fight with the militia. I said “I’m a sick man, I’m not able to do it”. They said “if you are sick or not, we don’t know”.
I had the choice between being captured or being killed.
In 2014, in another area, when they started to do the same,
they also started to kidnap everybody.
I saw with my eyes more than 20 bodies without heads. We pretended we hadn’t seen anything and I think they were terrorists.
In this time, more than 550 to 600 people were killed. And I’m just telling you the story from MY area. What about all the other areas?
The barriers which were protected by the government it is rare to find an honest person. When you have a truck and you are transporting goose or whatever you got, you are not able to cross the barrier without paying money. A lot of money.
When I come and tell you “let me in” but you don’t know me, you will check my car, I give you money. The second time the same. The third time you don’t inspect my car because you know me and I’m paying money. After that: Bombing.
And then Wajdy and his brothers left Syria
My brother left Syria because they wanted him to fight for them. He sold the pharmacy and after 2 months in 2015 and we left Syria. His wife and children stayed in Damascus and then they got the visa to come to Austria with the help of some Austrian organization.
So I still have family in Syria that I’m worried about. The area where they are staying right now is better than the area I come from. My area was surrounded from all sides, they were out of control.
I came here, I sold everything, my home, my pharmacy.
My brothers and I were lucky.
The people of Syria will remember their whole life
the favor Germany did to them.
We owe Germany. We always will.