The worsening economic situation in Syria and the fear of being drafted into the military are both factors which push young people living in areas under the regime’s control to flee to Europe, especially the Netherlands.
Youssef and Bassem are two brothers who come from the Christian area of Wadi al-Nasara in Homs. They fled the country for fear of military service and because of the lack of hope for a breakthrough to alleviate the hard economic conditions.
Bassem, 20, managed to save the travel costs while working in Lebanon over years, according to what he said.
His elder brother Youssef, 28 years, convinced his family to sell an apartment they owned in Homs to pay travel costs to escape.
Bassem and Youssef left their parents alone in Homs without a breadwinner, hoping to reach Europe and help them later.
Both Youssef and Bassem paid 20,000 euros in exchange for obtaining “forged” passports that took them to the Netherlands and Germany after several unsuccessful attempts.
Bassem is not happy with the very small room in which he lives in the asylum center, which is a ship with 400 rooms; 4 people in each room.
He may have to wait for months before he can change his situation.
Amer, 24, is another refugee who hails from the city of Salamiya in the province of Hama. He arrived in the Netherlands nearly four months ago.
Amer says, “The economic conditions have deteriorated severely and there is no prospect of improving the situation. I cannot postpone my draft to the compulsory service any longer.”
He added, “I fled Syria to Holland in search of the future (…) There is no longer any hope to stay in Syria, there is only poverty and fear of the unknown, and prices have skyrocketed crazily recently.”
And from Turkey too
The new wave of asylum was not limited to Syrians coming from regime areas, but it also included a large number of Syrian refugees in Turkey. They were concerned by the increase of hate speech and racism by some Turks and the “voluntary return project” launched by the Turkish government, which targets more than a million Syrians who will be forced to return to northern Syria.
Syrian refugee Amal has recently arrived with her only daughter in the Netherlands. she made her decision to leave Gaziantep due to the suspension of the naturalization files of a number of Syrian refugees, which left her “frustrated” and “disappointed”.
She had hesitated to emigrate, hoping to obtain Turkish citizenship, but her hopes were dashed after the authorities’ decision to remove thousands of naturalization files.
“I, too, have the right to ensure a future for my child,” she said, “There is no job for me, and even if there is, the salary is no longer sufficient to pay the rent of the house in addition to other living costs.”
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.