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Syrian Asylum Seeker in France Dumped by Sponsor NGO, Facing Homelessness

French NGO forces Syrian asylum seeker to vacate shared housing facility after promising accommodation
Syrian Asylum Seeker in France Dumped by Sponsor NGO, Facing Homelessness

Samah Abo Baker, a Palestinian-Syrian and former journalist for the regime’s news channel Alikhbaria, sought asylum in France a year ago, but now she is on brink of being thrown on the street after her support for shared accommodation was stopped.

Samah found no option but to conduct a sit-in at the asylum seeker center in Paris to deliver her message of anger at the situation, silently holding a board saying: "Have you brought us to die here? It would’ve been better if you let us die there.”

Arrested by the Syrian regime in 2014, upon her release she travelled to Lebanon where she was granted a visa to live in France, with the promise of accommodation.

When she arrived in France, she was surprised to discover her accommodation was a small room with no internet with a shared bathroom and kitchen. Many families and people of different nationalities, all communicating in different languages.

Samah told Zaman al-Wasl that on October 9 she was told by phone that she needed to leave her shared accommodation by October 14. On October 12 she was informed that she needed to meet with a member from her sponsoring NGO, KAD, in order to end her connection with the organization.

Samah explained that the member from KAD was “suppressive, insensitive and patronizing”, and denied that she was ever promised accommodation before being granted the visa.

"She even told me that if I don't like France as an asylum country, I can leave to another country," Samah said.

Although her problems are far from over, KAD has decided to allow Samah to remain in the accommodation for a number of days until she is able to find an alternative place to live.

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