Taghreed Aljbawi: Taghreed Aljbawi: ”I felt alone, in spite of all the wonderful people”
We felt that we had to move somewhere else because we were afraid of how things were developing in Syria. Many people in my home country were mourning a friend or a relative who had died in the war.
When I came here I was three months pregnant, and I dreamed of a peaceful, secure future for my new baby. My husband and I were glad to be in safety. But soon I got bad news, my brother, to whom I was very close, was very ill and had probably only a few years left to live.
He was 33, and lived alone in Odense in Denmark. My brother meant a great deal to me. I was only able to visit him twice in hospital in Denmark, but we had contact every day by phone.
The first time I visited him he was in intensive care. My first daughter was four months old. The second time, my husband and two small children came too. Two years after I came to Sweden, my younger brother rang from Syria and said: ”I’m sorry, our dear brother is dead”.
Along with my husband and out two children I went to Denmark and followed him to his grave.
I felt alone, in spite of all the wonderful people I have met in Sweden and Denmark.
”It isn’t easy to express your feelings in a new language when you are mourning your brother”Taghreed Aljbawi
I felt that I wanted to move back to Syria, despite everything that is going on there. Things have been hard for me, and it is still very difficult.
My mother in Syria was worried about me. I told her I was all right, although that wasn’t quite true. But what can you say to a mother who has lost her son and whose daughter is facing the challenge of learning a new language and building up a new life in a completely new country. It felt empty and depressing.
It isn’t easy to express your feelings in a new language when you are mourning your brother.
We mustn’t forget the people we love, particularly all the wonderful people who have died. Let us remember all the happy laughter and fine days together.
”I think a lot about the moment I meet my mother again”Taghreed Aljbawi
In my home country I studied to become a journalist. I worked for several years on an important daily paper called Althawra. Now I’m so happy to be able to write in a local paper, Kb Mosaik, which comes out in three languages. I have wonderful colleagues.
I’ve also had the chance to write articles in my favourite paper, Sydöstran.
We have been given permanent residence permits, and my children became Swedish subjects at birth.
But after five years I still dream of going back to Syria.
I think a lot about the moment I meet my mother again, and when my mother meets my children.
That will be an unforgettable moment.