My short story: I was born and raised and lived my entire life in Aleppo/Syria, in 2014 after a long struggle to stay in my country I collapsed and decided to leave, after 10 days the minibus started moving carrying me and other syrians to the turkish border, from there I embarked on a journey of hope and pain, I rode the small crowded inflatable dinghy to greece, I hided inside a train under a seat for 7 hours to reach serbia, I crossed the borders in the middle of the night and walked 8 hours to reach hungary, and eventually a train carried me to austria where I applied for asylum, I've been in austria since a year and couple of months.

Ask me anything

my conventional asylum travel document: http://i.imgur.com/mHD1uPz.jpg

Comments: 198 • Responses: 31  • Date: 

window526 karma

Would you volunteer to serve in a military force which would fight ISIS and Assad in your home country? Be a part of movement to restore civilization to Syria?

Qdr-916 karma

if the circumstances were different, and if my country were being endangered just by a terrorist group or an invading unjust force I may consider carrying arms to defend it and that's highly hypothetical, but this is a civil war, unreasonable war, and the only victory in it is to end it, this democratic force you are talking about doesn't exist. there are only the fascist assad, the genocidal terrorist isis and alqaeda, other islamic factions, and the kurds who have their own national project.

thatguytman-5 karma

Entertaining that you think the only end of a civil war is for it to just 'stop'. Well you have to pick a side, because usually people like to make the other side die. Regardless of how you feel. And fleeing your own home in fear of this makes you a coward.

Qdr-915 karma

so the reason why I got to choose a side is because people like to make the other side die ? sorry dude, if you want me to be insulted or to take your comment seriously you got to be appear smarter than this, if you are an American you are a trump supporter I presume.

FascistWorldNewsMods20 karma

When are you going back to Syria?

Qdr-9123 karma

it is not matter of will as it is a matter of circumstances, I'm not happy at all right now and I'm suffering psychologically because of loneliness, the language and the whole tiring and time consuming integration process. all of my family and friends are outside of syria right now dispersed over many countries, who remained there are an uncle and my grandmother. my city aleppo right now is in a dire state as it is most likely to be the most unlivable city on earth. I want to go back as soon as possible and I want everything to go back as it was before the war, but this seems right now unrealistic unfortunately, and I can't tell when I will see syria again.

ferretRape40 karma

Hello! I am from Israel. I wanted to tell you that I am sad to hear what you went through. I am aware of the political differences between our nations and I just wanted to tell you that I hope one day all this nonsense ends. I am sick of war, sick of Terror and all this violence. Our respective nations may have been at war in the past, but I have no animosity towards the people of Syria or Islam. My family lived in Syria before we immigrated actually. All I can say to you is I hope you find peace. I hope You get go home soon. Best of luck to you and your people

Qdr-9121 karma

thank you for your kind thoughts, I wish someday that peace will settle in the entire region including our countries.

rennaTbear17 karma

Was Austria your first choice? If not, what was and why?

Qdr-9120 karma

my target was to reach the Netherlands, I made some research when I decided to leave syria, and I was attracted to it, I think the dutch are one of the most open and liberal people in the world, when I reached austria I was really tired of the journey as I reached the fourth country in 4 days, I went for some sightseeing after 2 days there and I was fascinated by Vienna, I walked in the first district and around and it seemed to me like an outdoor big museum, the beauty of the city influenced my decision, apart from that my mother have friends here and she was going to come after me through legal family reunion, and some other combined reasons.

dfume16 karma

Is ISIS or the Assad government the bigger threat to the Syrian people? Thank you for sharing your story on this AMA.

Qdr-9134 karma

I think it's more complicated than that in a state of civil war, assad has committed uncountable crimes and it is unrealistic to include him as a part of the political solution, there are millions who are suffering because of assad's using of indiscriminate weapons like barrel bombs and these people need justice and will keep fighting until they get it, so the war will continue until the eradication of one of the warring sides if assad refused to step down and this could be millions of other refugees, hundreds of thousands of casualties and wounded, but also there is no alternative to assad and the country could fall infinitely in chaos after the regime in grasps of warlords and extreme groups

what is the most dangerous and scaring about isis is that as long it is controlling an area, it is injecting its ideology in the people, they are controlling the schools, raising and teaching children on their depraved doctrine, but the syrians themselves in vast majority are against them. as an organization isis is short lived, they declared a war on the whole world and they whole world is fighting back, isis has no future but to be vanquished.

TotallyKnackered13 karma

How does the "Syrian refugees may be ISIS in disguise" views affect you? Do you experience hostility? Do you meet most empathetic people or negativity?

We've heard various views on what Syria was like before the conflict. Some say it was a fairly secular, harmonious nation making good progress. Others say it is a ruthless dictatorship. What are your reflections on how things were?

Finally, who do you feel is most to blame for the current chaos?

Qdr-9134 karma

ISIS members in a disguise of a refugees is something improbable as it easier for isis to recruit people living already in the west than to send people through the sea and all of complication, but you see a lot of ex-fighters got tired of the war and decided to quit and leave syria as refugees, so it is probable that an ex-isis-fighter or alqaeda fighter to be a refugee, I myself met people who left assad army and opposition groups and they are recognized refugee, ex-ISIS fighters or ex-alqaeda fighters won't tell about themselves.

most of the people that I encountered are sympathetic people and I met also people who wouldn't even say back hi because they know that I'm a refugee.

syria before the war was secular because the ruling party "Albaath" was secular as all of political activity was oppressed hardly, so you can say the harmony was forced in syria but this doesn't mean that the syrian people are not peaceful and harmonious, it means they didn't have the chance to express themselves politically.

I blame mostly syrians themselves for this war, after that every side and party who supported and pushed for violence, saudi arabia which is probably the most backwardish dictatorship in the world is the first country who's supporting "democracy" in syria, turkey for 2 years was loosening its control over the borders to let foreign fighters to go inside to support a "democratic project" in syria, and the west for its hypocrisy in the region, calling for democracy and advertising for violence in syria, and giving leverage and supporting the agendas of extreme regimes like saudi arabia in the region, of course russia and iran who never condemned a crime of assad and backing his regime regardless of its deeds.

Quatroking6 karma

ISIS members in a disguise of a refugees is something improbable

Reuters: "German spy agency says ISIS sending fighters disguised as refugees"

Qdr-9122 karma

improbable but not impossible, if it is happening what do you propose ? the answer is not sending hundreds of thousands back because this will undermine not just the international law, but the whole humanity on this planet, the answer is to toughen the security measures and not to let any terrorist slip, and among us the refugees who are running from isis we won't let any terrorist slip either.

liatris-25 karma

Why not stay and fight? It seems like a lot of people have more loyalty to their tribes than to their country so they just cut and run.

Qdr-9124 karma

to fight for reconciliation ? or to fight with the regime ? or against everyone ? the only victory in at least our war is to end it, I lost hope that I can make an influence, and lost the hope that things well get better soon, that's why most of the people are running, from unreasonable war.

LivingInTheVoid13 karma

What are your thoughts on the migrant sexual assault problem that's been happening? How do you view secular non Muslim women?

Qdr-9112 karma

for me in goes without saying that I condemn the assaults and sympathize with the women who got were assaulted and I think that the conservative media invested this incident to create an unfair stereotype in this case, for the women question I don't know how to answer, a human striving to survive like me but with a different genitalia ? I'm not religious though.

rastel10 karma

Do you plan to got back to your home country when this is all sorted out and help rebuild your country?

Qdr-9112 karma

no doubt this is what I want right now, but I don't know what the future will bring, maybe I will change after 5 or 6 years and start feeling to belong here, get settled, I can't judge the future clearly, but right now this is what I aspire for.

Eliyahu-6 karma

  1. Is Europe what you expected to be?

  2. What do you think about certain European countries taking money from refugees such as Switzerland and Denmark.

  3. Do you think the struggle to remove Assad is still worth after what you have been gone through?

  4. Do you think that groups such as YPG and ISIS have hijacked the syrian revolution for their own agenda?

  5. How do you think the war will end?

Qdr-919 karma

1- it wasn't very different from my expectations. 2- it applies also for their own citizens if they want to apply for the government welfare, if you have an expensive item and you want to receive welfare from the government, you have either to sell or give to the government, I didn't read very much about the subject but generally I think it makes sense. 3- I don't think there is a cause or an idea or a political project that can prove righteous with violence, I believe in nonviolent resistance. 4- I think the crisis is far more complicated right now than to look at it from the narrow scope of revolution, the kurds are a large ethnic group in syria, they have a separated identity, different language, and a federal system will grant them their right to govern themselves and I don't think they have hijacked anything. 5- militarily the regime with the Russian support is gaining the overall upper hand over the rebels in many fronts which were still and balanced for 4 years, how the war is going to know is something hard for anybody to predict.

Boerek14 karma

What was your job before the war? Is it you writing? YourEnglish is way above Syrian standards. What was your position and that of your families within the Syrian regime before the war? Are almost all the Syrian refugees you encountered Sunnis or are also Alwites among them? Why dont you fight for the future of your country?

Qdr-9118 karma

it is me writing, my English is strong because I read English a lot daily and it is the lingua franka that I communicate with in Austria, I was a student and dropped out of university during the crisis.

I volunteered as a translator with an NGO and I met a large portion of syrians, and the vast majority are sunnis, I met some Druze, more Christians, but personally I haven't met Alwites until now, I heard there are of course but they are very few.

I fought for Syria and democracy until the last glimmer of hope, I believe in a political solution and activism and I don't imagine my self carrying a weapon and killing another person, I was arrested three times by the regime security and I had been tortured and beaten until I started shouting for death, I left because I lost the hope that I can make a change.

elypter4 karma

i live in germany but i say welcome anyway.

i have a few questions how europe is perceived in syria. did you know people who wanted to go to europe before the war began. if so what made them want to leave and what did they think would be better in europe? did you expierience europe the way they imagined it to be? if not what was different and what things were different than what you expected?

Qdr-9113 karma

among the syrians right now, Europe are the communities which opened their arms for them in their calamity while the arabs were turning their backs, and as you know the majority of the syrians are arabs, so I think a lot of people touched the meaning of humanity outside the frame of nation and religion.

before the war from my circles I never heard about somebody who wants to go to europe to live there, but to study and come back, for tourism also, I wanted before to travel to europe as a tourist.

the state of despair created the influx, the people left hoping that they will go back soon to their country and after 3 years of the crisis the phenomena started, they circumstances in the surrounding countries like turkey are really hard, we don't have the right to work, we have to pay a fee to issue the "war residency", more than 25 percent of lebanon's population are syrians, so europe represented hope for the people.

europe is not very different from what I imagined before, what was different from what I imagined is the asylum procedures, I had to wait 10 month to be heard and to be granted the refugee status.

the_chilean4 karma

How do you deal with prejudgement? (Since it wouldn't be technically racism)

Qdr-9120 karma

through leaving a good impression that can refute that judgement.

KerbalSpaceExplorer3 karma

I'd first like to say that I'm so, so sorry that you had to be displaced like that and had to find a new home on such short notice. You, and all the rest like you, are a shining testament of human spirit.

On to my question; How is public opinion of Syrian refugees in Austria? It sickens me that so many people in my country suddenly think all Muslims and, quite honestly by extension, all brown people, are ISIS in disguise just because of the recent attacks. But how is the reception to you and the rest of the Syrians in Austria?

Qdr-913 karma

1-among the syrians right now, Europe are the communities which opened their arms for them in their plight while the arabs were turning their backs, and as you know the majority of the syrians are arabs, so I think a lot of people touched the meaning of humanity outside the frame of nation and religion. 2- the high numbers of asylum seekers are either above the capacity of the government to absorb or the government doen't want to act to not to attract more people. the asylum procedures can take up to a year, there is no accommodation by the government and there are NGOs working also to contain the crisis. after the procedures finish it gets somewhat easier.

RogerThatKid3 karma

I know I'm late on this but I really hope you see this and respond. How afraid were you to leave? Do you miss anyone that you had to leave behind? How are you feeling now that you've escaped?

Qdr-915 karma

I was dead afraid, for ten days before leaving I cried, all of my friends group gathered to say good bye as I was the first one to leave, my mother cried a lot. after that all of my friends left syria, and my mother came after me to austria. leaving my country is a deep wound in my heart that will never heal.

sepkimmy3 karma

fav food?

Qdr-9112 karma

beef steaks and KFC haha

danielloking2 karma

I live near Vienna, nice to see you doing an AMA. I have a few questions for you, feel free to answer if you like.

1) Do you understand the German language a bit? 2) What is the best thing about Vienna and Austrian culture so far? 3) and the worst 4) If you decide to stay in Austria if you are allowed to, would you try to integrate into Austrian culture? Like learning German, accepting the way Austrians live, trying to get a job and not live by the gouvernements money? Because these are the problems we Austrians have with new Immigrants and it's a huge problem especially in bigger cities like Vienna.

Also, don't go to Graz, just avoid it. People there have a negative mindset regarding immigrants. Have a nice day.

Qdr-913 karma

1- I'm learning German currently, and I can speak it a little. 2- there many good things that impress me about Austria that I don't know where to start, the strong and just social system which protects the most vulnerable in the society like refugees, the tolerance which prevails among the people. 3- the worst and the most frightening on the long term is your ageing population, when I first came here it was very noticeable for me, in syria you would see streets full of families with their children, the majority of bypassers are younger people, here children are a rare scene in the streets, I always get this feeling that this society is on the verge of collapsing. 4- I'm highly open-minded myself and the Austrian life style suits me well, I want to get a job because like most of the people I want to raise my living standards and feel ashamed of dependency. I will keep the Graz advice in mind haha. thank you and have a nice day also.

phobboss2 karma

1- How were you treated in Turkey? 2- Do you believe Turkey helps IS?

Qdr-919 karma

I was treated fairly well in turkey, I didn't feel any discrimination from Turkish people. the turkish priorities is syria as it seems is to undermine the kurds above undermining isis, and the kurds proved to be the most effective force on the ground against isis, turkey also tolerated the entrance of thousands of foreign fighters through its borders and that helped isis to rise, so yes I think turkey helped and is helping isis indirectly.

anavsc912 karma

Hi! thank you so much for doing this. Do you have a job in Austria? Does the country have an efficient way of integrating refugees?

Qdr-916 karma

not yet, it took for me 10 month to finish with the asylum procedures and to be granted asylum, the country is doing its best to try to integrate the refugees, they provide us language courses and as the rest of Austrians we register in the government employment offices, the challenge is the huge numbers which can take time to absorb.

voodoochild3122 karma

Do you see a substantive difference between Ahrar al-Sham and Nusra?

Thanks for doing this, btw. It's important to put a face on people that too easily just become statistics.

Qdr-912 karma

The largest fighting opposition force on the ground in syria right now is "Jaish al-fateh" it means the army of conquest, and it consists mainly of Al-nusra and Ahrar al-Sham and other smaller groups. The west is very sensitive about Alnusra because of its direct affiliation with alqaeda, but on the ground the two groups are almost indistinguishable. Both want to implement Al-sharia law, the both are hateful and genocidal. if they are different from each other their close relationship won't allow to see the difference.

Jack5152 karma

Austria is a nice country, congrats. Are you situated in a town or city?

Furthermore what is your current job? Was it hard or easy to find work in a foreign country as a refugee?

Qdr-913 karma

I'm in Vienna, in Austria people can register in governmental employment offices to find a job, for us refugees when we register there they provide us with language courses in order to qualify us to enter the labour market and during this time we receive welfare. right now I'm taking German lessons, it is not easy to find a job if you can't speak the country's language.

Wulfgar12 karma

Welcome!

How was your experience with locals in Europe while trying to get to Austria?

Qdr-9116 karma

after I arrived to samos the greek island, I was devastated, I felt that I was the cheapest human in the world while I was in the sea, beside the danger it was one of the most degrading experiences I ever had, the greek police treated us like criminals, I remember that I was tearing and moving slowing and they where rushing us, one of them pushed me and and kept very aggressively shouting in my face, after that most of the encounters with the people were friendly until now.

window52 karma

Do you follow events in Syria? Are people critical of Russia for its extensive bombing campaign and over all meddling in the country? Do Syrian refugees condemn Iran for propping up Assad?

Qdr-913 karma

the syrians have different views, and that's why they are having a civil war, the loyalists of course are in favor of Iran's and Russia's support to the regime, the opposition no.

PacifistSocialist1 karma

Thank you for doing this AMA. What are your thoughts on the Kurdish independence movement, and the idea of an independent Kurdistan?

Qdr-913 karma

The Kurds are the biggest ethnic group on the planet that don't have their own country, culturally they're quite distinct from the Arabs in Syria, they are significantly more secular than Arabs. greater Kurdistan as the Kurds call it is unrealistic at least in the time being and they realize that as it means to separate from four countries to form their independent country. as I said they are culturally distinct from Arabs, they have a high sense of their national identity because for decades there were being oppressed because if it, and in their vast majority they demand their federal state in Syria. they are one the most maltreated and tyrannized group of people on earth, and I support their right of self-determination as a people at least by federalism.

sandybell7511 karma

Kefak 7abib? I'm from Harasta (Damascus suburbia). I'm sorry to hear about your difficult journey, but I'm glad to hear you made it to the other side.

I have a few questions: How old are you, and do you have any brothers? Did the regime try to conscript you? What are your long term plans? Let's be honest, Syria isn't going to be fixed for years.

Qdr-912 karma

I'm 24 and I don't have any siblings so I don't get conscripted. I would like to think of going back and I wish this is possible, but my whole extended family, my friends, all of them are outside, I have nothing left in syria. I enrolled in the university and want to continue my education and make a living, on the long term I'm aspiring for higher education, and maybe in some scenario in the future I can go back to syria to help to rebuilt it again.

roae1 karma

Was it all worth it? Is there anything you regret

Qdr-9117 karma

worth what ? being a refugee is not something that I can control and something I would never choose, I would say I regret that I left but I can't because it was inevitable to leave, right now I have no friends in syria, no family, almost nothing left there for if I though about going back.

depressed3331 karma

Are you a student?

Qdr-911 karma

yes I am

FoghornsLeghorns1 karma

Was there a specific moment/incident that made you realize you had to leave Syria, or was it a progressive build of various circumstances? Either way, the situation there is horrible and you and your people have my support/sympathies. There's some nasty comments on this AMA and I wish people wouldn't be so suspicious of those who need help.

Qdr-912 karma

Yes, there was, for 2 years from 2012 until 2014 during the war, I was hopeful that eventually the crisis is going to be resolved and I was glimpsing hope, it wasn't an incident but it was a mental state, where I just lost the hope that the conflict is going to end up soon, and stopped feeling that I can make a difference, but I remember that period when leaving became an option. thank you for your sympathy.

vitaminbombe-2 karma

I live right on the other side where the refugees live, in the 13th district. How many of you smoke weed? And where do you get it? It seems to me that I sometimes can't find weed but then I see refugees smoking or smelling like weed.

Qdr-912 karma

in syria weed is highly restricted by the government and you can get sentenced for a long time because of it, beside that it is a big taboo, so the syrians in europe most of them are having their first experiences with it. I personally know a lot of refugees who smoke frequently. it's easy to get from the streets from spots like thalia strasse U-bahn station or from praterstern. I read that the police are cracking down on dealers this period.