born in Syrian Kurdistan, living in Germany

The region where I used to live was Kurdish territory and the Arab government was very racist against us. My mother didn’t even have a passport or ID-card. The government just said Kurds were foreigners, not from Syria and therefore we don’t give them passports. If you don’t have an ID-card, you can’t do anything, you can’t even study at the university. When there were disputes between Kurds and Arabs, the government came and imprisoned the Kurds, not the Arabs.

In 2009, when I was 16 years old, I was in jail with my brother and my cousin – because we are Kurds. They treated us like animals. They tortured us and hit us. Everything was bleeding and afterwards they made us walk on salt. We were children and had done nothing illicit. They had just seen us three on the street and took us with them. My father came and begged them, “Don’t beat the children!” He paid a lot of money, but they kept beating us for one week. Those policemen were Alawites, the Arabs that lead the government. One time, one of the Alawites brought his son to the prison. He told him, “Those are Kurds” and then he gave him the bat. We weren’t the only ones; they did this with many children and young people in our region.

If I could, I would remove all borders between countries, I would defeat the bad government and change everything in the government. Everyone needs to be able to voice his or her opinion! The European governments are good governments. They are treating the people well. They are friendly to the people, aren’t they? That’s what I experienced. But in Syria, the police have the right to kill. If a policeman kills a person, he can say that he was armed and nothing will happen to him.

When the revolution started, I didn’t want to carry a weapon, because I didn’t want to kill anyone. I just voiced my opinion, “ I am against the government.” And they tried to kill us. That’s why I fled. I never want to carry a weapon, because nobody can know who is innocent and who is guilty. Whoever carries a weapon, also kills innocent people. A weapon is no solution, but the people there don’t understand that.

Freedom means everything to me! I couldn’t say that I am a Kurd. If I had had a Kurdish flag, I would have gone to jail. For me, freedom is that I can say whatever I want; who I am. Why can I not say who I am and what I want?

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