A Syrian refugee’s open letter, which he posted on Facebook, has drawn a lot of attention for his praise of the people of Britain for welcoming him to their country.
Ahmad al-Rashid, who goes by Jack AR on the social networking website, posted a picture of his new bedroom while thanking British people for helping him out.
“When I moved into this house and I was shown my room by the family who are hosting me in their own home, I was stunned and amazed by their attitude and the way they treated me,” he said.
“The hospitality and care which they showed to make me comfortable is something I don’t have words to describe. This was a tremendous relief and soothed my fears and worries.”
Rashid says he was working for UNICEF in Iraq and Syria helping refugees before being forced to flee his home in Aleppo earlier this year.
He told the Independent that his eight-week journey took him through northern Syria, Turkey, and Greece. He was then placed in a truck headed in the wrong direction, toward northern Europe.
“The smuggler put me inside a tanker full of flour for seven hours. It was awful. There was no reception nor light there, I was almost suffocating,” he said. He was later able to go to the United Kingdom in the back of a truck and has been granted asylum. He plans on obtaining a master’s degree and wants to go back to Syria later on “and be part of the rebuilding efforts.”
See his full letter below.
“This is my new home in England and, I have to tell you, it has taken me completely by surprise. I had heard and read so much about how the British people were so unwelcoming to migrants and asylum seekers and want to close the borders and even bomb the boats carrying migrants. But my experience has shown me that the ones who care and want to help far outnumber the ones who don’t. I have met such kindness from so many strangers.
“I was forced to leave my home in Syria due to the terrible war in my country. Of course, wherever I go I will never feel happier or more comfortable than being in my home in Syria. I have my roots there, I grew up there, I have all my friends and loved ones there (the ones who are still struggling to stay alive and the ones who lost their lives in this horrendous war), I have all my memories there, my childish dreams and aspirations.
“Many people understand this, especially the refugees, migrants and immigrants who have been forced to leave their home and have also felt the pain and recognise what I feel.
“Yesterday, when I moved into this house and I was shown my room by the family who are hosting me in their own home, I was stunned and amazed by their attitude and the way they treated me. The hospitality and care which they showed to make me comfortable is something I don’t have words to describe. This was a tremendous relief and soothed my fears and worries.
“I sincerely thank all and everyone who made this happen. You can’t imagine how many people are giving their time, efforts and money to help people like me. I thank all the Calais support /solidarity groups, the organisers and their dedicated supporters within the UK and elsewhere. I thank the Room for Refugees initiative and the people behind it. I thank everyone who helped to spread the word and showing me that people here really do care.”