Refugee Week ambassador and RMC Refugee Week team volunteer Mohammad shares his experiences of seeking safety and love for his family’s new life in Wolverhampton.
My name is Mohammad and I was an accountant in Syria for almost a decade, alongside being a proud father of three beautiful children and husband to a wonderful wife. Life was good, but then the civil war happened and I also became a refugee.
It is difficult for me to talk about my experiences, but I feel like I should share part of my story so that it can help to teach people about what it means to be a refugee.
How do fathers, mothers, children and so many others end up with this label? Why do they leave their home and what does it mean to be forced to do this?
I hope by sharing my story, more people may get an idea about our lives and experiences. That we’re just ordinary people who through no fault of our own are forced to leave everything behind in search of safety. I hope that this will help to build understanding, stronger communities and a welcome to those who require safety.
To take you back, I was an accountant in Syria for seven years and also a sales manager for a big, reputable company. In 2011 the war began in my country. Myself and my family did our best to survive in this conflict for almost four years. However, after one very bad event I could not stay any more. I was scared for my family and I saw many people killed. We initially escaped to Jordan where we stayed for four years.
During the war in Syria I developed many issues. I started having chest and heart problems due to lack of sleep, stress and anxiety. This is still ongoing. My town was also hit by a big bomb, which sent me flying and hurt my back and leg, leaving debris which is still inside my chest to this day. I don’t wish to share everything about what happened because it is very troubling but I can tell you one thing.
It was in my country seven years ago, in exactly September 2012. I was helping people inside my country who had lost their homes, and for this I was arrested by the army. They tortured me in the worst possible and different ways so that I felt like I would die.
After all this suffering, I am back to living and loving my life again. After all these troubles, I came to the UK via the resettlement programme and now live in Wolverhampton with my family happily. I am especially happy with RMC because they gave me plenty of support to help get my life on track, and so that I can support my family. I’m learning English to understand people here, volunteering with different projects and doing my best to integrate into the community to achieve a good future for me and my family in the UK.
I am also proud to be an official Refugee Week ambassador, and to have the opportunity to share my experiences and story with others. I think it’s important that people have the chance to learn more about people from refugee backgrounds and what they can offer. I’ve also been busy volunteering as part of the RMC Refugee Week organising team, and throughout this week we will be hosting interactive stalls at events across Birmingham and the Black Country, alongside a big cultural celebration in our RMC offices.
To find out more about Refugee Week, visit https://refugeeweek.org.uk/ and follow @RMCentre on Twitter to catch up with how we are celebrating throughout this week.