Syrian refugee interview: “The hardest thing was looking back at all the suffering.”

We’ve all heard about the hundreds of thousands of refugees crossing over the borders of Europe to try and escape the conflict at home. Politicians wage moral wars, as we ask if we should let them in, or turn them back.

In the face of this conflict, as part of Refugee Week, The Update and EtCetera bring you an interview to show you a personal account. Meet Ahmed (not his real name), a Syrian refugee who has been living in Switzerland for 3 years. He fled Syria after deserting the Syrian army, and is now a volunteer Arabic teacher.

The refugee crisis is unimaginably large, but it’s important to remember that these are human beings, not just number on a TV screen. They are people who have a favourite football team; a band they love; a high school life where they dealt with the same drama as you. Every single one of those people has been forced to leave the homes that were probably a lot better than the ones they’re going to find here, because their lives were at risk.

While you watch this interview, please remember that this is a man who has left behind his family and friends to survive. Remember that the next time you see the numbers for how many refugees just crossed the border – that every single number represents a life abandoned and torn apart by conflict.

A massive thank you to Imad Dodin, EtCetera editor, for all his work with the translations.