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Aya Esmaeel

Aya Hashim Esmaeel is a media activist. Here, she talks to us about her experience helping implement two workshops with the Minority Women’s Forum in...

Tasneem Abdalrazaq

I am Tasneem, born in Syria, of Palestinian origin. I am of twenty-two opinions, twenty-two chances, twenty-two experiences, and perhaps many more things besides. I...

Zainab AlMadhoun

Beirut resident Zainab AlMadhoun was among the twelve residents of Lebanon to be interviewed as part of the project "Lebanon Livelihoods" that aimed to document and...

Farooq Klaash

Dr. Farooq Klaash is the General Supervisor of the festival to celebrate the National Day of Tebu Culture in Libya, which was sponsored by the...

Anis Hamadoun

My name is Anis Hamdoun. I’m Syrian, 35 years old, living in Berlin, Germany. I’m a director and writer, and I teach acting in several...

May Gah Alla

May Gah Alla works at the Kunouz Nubia Foundation. Here, she talks to us about the project to promote a culture of peace and acceptance...

Anna Hannah Ibrahim

My name is Anna Hannah Ibrahim. I’m from Damascus, Syria. I graduated from the Media Faculty at Damascus University in 2005. I was full of...

Joseph Makdisie

My name is Joseph Makdisie and I’m 29 years old. I’m Syrian and I’ve been living in Luxembourg for about 5 years. I studied civil...

Osama Abu Yazan

My name is Osama but people call me Abu Yazan. I was born in 1973. I used to work in drapes and home décor. Before...

Afyaa Alasadi

I am the Iraqi poet Ayfaa Amen Alasadi. I was born in Baghdad, am in my thirties and I currently reside in France. I arrived...

Haneen Khalili

My name is Haneen Khalili; I’m from Iraq. I’m 26 years old and I have a degree in journalism from the Media Faculty. I was...

Manar Alhashemi

Manar is 30 years old and lives in Norway. This is a translation of the transcript of his recorded story: "I am Manar Alhashemi from...

Abdallah Huseen

Abdallah is 34 years old and lives in Italy. This is a translation of the transcript of his recorded story: "My name is Abdullah Huseen...

Ahmad Elsheikh

Ahmad Elsheikh is 41 years old and lives in Germany. This is a translation of the transcript of his recorded story: "I am Ahmad Khader...

Nour Kayali

Nour Kayali lives in Austria. This is a translation of the transcript of her recorded story: Whenever she sent me a message, she would say:...

Amjad Job

Amjad Job is 32 years old and lives in Germany. This is a translation of the transcript of his recorded story: "My name is Amjad...

Hadeel Alsamman

I am Hadeel and I am 21 years old. I am from Damascus, Syria. I came to Sweden in 2014 and have been here for...

Abdulwahab Tareel

Abdulwahab Tareel is 27 years old and lives in Cyprus. This is a translation of the transcript of his story: "I am Abdulwahab Tareel. I...

Jamil Jamaleddin

I am Jamil Jamal al-Din from Syria. I am proud to be from Damascus, Al-Midan neighbourhood. I am 33 years old and currently work in...

Tasneem Alkhateeb

My name is Tesnim Al Khatib. I am aged 34 and I have been resident in Denmark since about 2017. I am a graduate of...

Anas Zarzar

My name is Anas Zerzer and I am aged 43.  I am originally of Palestinian-Syrian nationality but my current nationality is Norwegian. I worked in...

Ahmad Bakhdalia

I was a senior student in high school in Syria when I had to leave the country because of the war. I took refuge in...

Lubna Abou Kheir

I am Lubna Abou Kheir, a writer and a theatre actress from Syria. I graduated from the Higher Institute of Performing Arts, Department of Theatrical...

Deldar Felemez

I am Deldar Felemez, born in 1970 in Syria, Qalmashi. I used to work in the field of visual and written media, as well as...

Ammar Al Sheakh

I'm Ammar Khaled Al-Sheakh, a Syrian who came here from Sham four years ago. I fled Syria in 2016 when the situation was bad and...

Rana Thuraya Alnakshabandi

I am Rana Thuraya Alnakshabandi, born in Damascus 1958. I may seem very old but I think in our lifetime we get to live many...

Shevan Vanderlugt

I am  Shevan, a Syrian youth who studied English at Damascus University and who currently lives in Utrecht, the Netherlands. In Syria I had dreams,...

Kaothar Khalil

My name is Kaothar Khalil, and I am from Damascus. I am 33 years old. I studied in Syria in the Institute for the preparation...

Mahdi al Nasir

I am Mahdi Al-Nasir, from Deir Al-Zour Syria and I used to live in Damascus. I worked with the Syrian press from 2008, then I...

Ruba Hammud

I am Ruba Hammud from Homs, Syria. I am a lawyer, and I used to be a journalist who raised awareness of Syrian women's rights,...

Ala al Bardeni

My name is Ala Al Bardeni. I am a 34-year old Syrian Palestinian and I have been residing in Cyprus for 9 and a half...

Emad Abu Ahmad

My name is Emad Abu Ahmad and I was born in Hama in the early 1990's. In early 2011, I decided to study English literature...

Rawan Alfarkh

I am Rawan Alfarkh, a 30-year-old from Damascus, Syria. I graduated from the school of journalism at Damascus University in Syria and worked as a...

Ahmad Mousa Matar

My name is Ahmad Mousa Matar, a Palestinian from Jerusalem. I was born on 28/3/1975 in Baghdad, where I used to work as a lawyer....

Farah Abbas

I am Farah Abbas, a 29-year old pharmacist from Damascus (Sham). I have been living in Berlin in Germany for about three and a half...

Muntaha

Muntaha lives in Switzerland. This is a translation of the transcript of her recorded story: "I am Muntaha from Homs, a city that witnessed the...

George Matar

My name is George, I’m 31 years old, from Syria. I graduated with a degree in oil, petroleum, and gas engineering and went to Germany...

Haysam Youssef

I am Haysam Youssef and I’m 55 years old. I left Syria in 1989. I was in my fourth year studying law at the University...

Sara Ahmar

I’m Sara Ahmar, from Syria. I’m 30 years old and currently living in Germany. I was like so many young men and women from Syria...

Jouman Mohammad

My name is Jouman Mohammad. I’m 50 years old, originally from Iraq and now a UK citizen. I live in London, and previously in my...

Gona Saed

My name is Gona Saed. I’m from Iraqi Kurdistan and I came to the UK twenty-one years ago as a political refugee with my three-year-old...

Mohammad Abdlrazak

My name is Mohammad Abdlrazak. I’m a Syrian citizen from the village of Kiljibreen in Aleppo governorate, born in 1970. I came to Cyprus at...

Dan

I’m Dan, and I’m 29 years old. I’m a Syrian living in London, UK. I come from a village in northern Syria where I lived...

Amanj Mohammad

My name is Amanj Mohammad, from Iraq. I came to Sweden around 19 years ago for political reasons, as a political asylum-seeker. I didn’t have...

Khalil Jabo

I’m Khalil Jabo, a Kurd from Afrin. I arrived in Denmark at 2013, and sometime later I was granted a residency permit. When I was...

Omar

My name is Omar, and I’m 33 years old. I’m a Syrian writer and journalist. I’d basically decided to move to Cyprus back in 2008,...

George Marash

My name is George, I was born in Damascus in 1993. I began my degree in Pharmacy at the University of Aleppo. Then, when the...

Iyad

My name is Iyad, and I’m from Homs in Syria. I was born in 1985 and I lived in Homs pretty much until the outbreak...

Manal

Manal is from Iraq. She lives in Norway. This is a translation of the transcript of her recorded story: "I am Manal from Iraq and...

Adnan Alali

Adnan Alali is 36 years and lives in Germany. This is a translation of the transcript of his recorded story: My name is Adnan Al...

Sara Alagha

Sara is 31 years old and lives in Germany. This is a translation of the transcript of her recorded story: "My name is Sara Alagha....

Majda Al-Ibrahim

Majida is a 52-year old chef in a successful family-run Syrian restaurant that opened two years ago in central Marseille. The family is originally from...

Caroline Ayoub

Caroline is a 41-year old from Damascus. Her mother is Armenian and her father is from Hawash. She was imprisoned in Syria for one month...

Abdallah Al-Khateeb

Abdallah Al-Khateeb is a 30-year old Palestinian Syrian. He was a social and political activist in Syria and remains so in Germany, where he moved...

Dalal Adi

Dalal Adi from Hama is 23 years old and she fled Syria by land and boat to Turkey and Greece, losing track of the two...

Asbed Wanes

Asbed is 31 years old. He is an Armenian Syrian and arrived in Sweden in 2013. While waiting for his residency, he took Swedish language...

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Faten Helal

Faten is a widow who lived in Damascus, where her husband died under torture in prison. She said she was told he had died but...

Angelica Jularbo

Angelica Jularbo is a 48-year old Swedish nurse. She is a single mother of four children and currently works in palliative care in Stockholm. She...

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Mirvat Shikh Shouk

Mirvat Shikh Shouk lives in Malmö with her husband and three children. They arrived in Sweden four years ago and at first lived in refugee housing....

Amal Yazigi

Amal has been living in Stockholm for 35 years. She previously worked as a translator but has recently retired, and is now an elected member...

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Nour Al-Hariri

Nour Al-Hariri is 25 years old and currently lives outside Berlin with her husband and children. She is originally from Deraa, and arrived in Germany...

Wahib Al Husseini

Wahib Al Husseini grew up in al-Hasakah Governorate, where he also went to school. He later majored in Fine Arts at Damascus University. After graduating,...

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Firas Al Younis

Firas Al Younis is an accomplished engineer who lives in Berlin. He is from a family of 10 children, and he and his brother are...

Ghassan Alhallak

Ghassan Alhallak dropped out of middle school in 1968. He went on to work with his father and brothers in trade since his father decided...

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Mikaela Matar

Mikaela is a 48 year-old journalist. She had trouble finding a job and realised she needed a niche. She considered Russian but there were many...

Ahmad Dhman

Ahmad Dhman was born in 1968 to a poor family living in the Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp in South Damascus. His father died when he...

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Zaradesht Muhammad

Zaradesht Muhammad was born in 1969 in the city of Qamishli, which he describes as the city of peace and coexistence. It is inhabited by...

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Muna Nashashibi

Muna Nashashibi is a Syrian Christian. “I was raised a secular nationalist. Acceptance was a cornerstone of my upbringing. We are believers, but when you’re...

Mohamad Malek Daghstani

Mohamad Malek Daghstani is from the village of Deir Ful in the Homs countryside and is of Daghstani origin. He grew up in Jouret al-Shayah...

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Badi Dakhlallah

Badi Dakhlallah remembers fleeing his home in the village of Al-’Al at the age of eight, when the Israelis attacked the Golan in 1967. “My...

Rehab Jamaledin Maghribi

Rehab Jamaledin Maghribi is 63 years old and arrived in London in the UK in 1975. She had recently married and planned to build a...

Mohammad Abu Hassan

Mohammad Abu Hassan has only ever left Damascus or its surrounding countryside twice: once to visit the city of Tartus and the second time to...

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Adnan Almohamad

Adnan Al-Mohamad is 40 years old. He used to travel frequently for his work as "a researcher in the field of Syrian antiquities." He currently...

Najah Owad

Najah Owad is a Syrian-Palestinian. Born in Yarmouk camp just south of Damascus, she is the eldest of nine siblings. Her father had a full...

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Saleh Quosmy

Saleh Amr Quosmy was 31 years old when he was imprisoned. His three daughters were ten years old, three years old and forty days old....

Omar Alshikh

Omar Alshikh is 32 years old and left his country, Syria, to escape the war and pursue his work as a journalist.  He went to...

Adi Atassi

When he graduated from the Faculty of Fine Arts in Damascus in the mid-1980s, Adi Atassi, a 56-year-old Syrian, decided to emigrate from his homeland....

Annetta Benzar

Annetta Benzar is originally from Belarus but emigrated to Cyprus aged 4. She works in an international organisation but feels there is an implicit hierarchy...

Samar

Samar is from Syria but emigrated to the United States to continue her studies.  During the time she was studying at university, she met her...

Aisha

Aisha is 25 years old and from Syria. She did not learn the Greek language after her arrival at camp "Kofinou" in the countryside of...

Abdallah

Abdallah was three when his father moved the family from Damascus, Syria to Larnaca, Cyprus. Now 27, he works for his father in his grocery...

Sarah

Sarah is a young Syrian-American girl who moved from Turkey to Lebanon in early 2016 in order to work in the civilian relief and development...

Amina

Amina fled from Syria with her three children and ended up in the Shatila refugee camp in Beirut where she had a difficult time because...

Abu Hashim

Abu Hashim has visited Syria every week since his early childhood days. Therefore, he understands the nature of Syrian society well because of the cultural...

Shaima’ al-Hazwani

When she arrived in the city of Tripoli in Lebanon in 2010, Shaima’ al-Hazwani began her psychology studies at the Lebanese University. She did not...

Ahmed

Ahmed* was born in 1968 to a Lebanese father and a Syrian mother. He lived for about 20 years in Damascus before returning and settling...

Jad Yatim

Lebanese journalist Jad Yatim has been working in the field of audio-visual media for the last 18 years. Since 2011, he has focused on the...

Ma’ruf al-Qallab

Ma’ruf al-Qallab was born in 1977 in the southern province of Daraa. He studied Law at the University of Damascus and travelled several times to...

Baraa Serajeddi

Before he came over to Lebanon, Baraa Serajeddi thought that Lebanese people lived the way MTV [a Lebanese TV channel] depicted – everyone was comfortable...

Hani al-Rstum

Hani al-Rstum moved into Lebanon in 2008. He studied medicine for three years at the University of Balamand in Tripoli before deciding to change his...

Dia Ghazi

Dia Ghazi (Abu Said) is a 60 year-old Palestinian from Syria and he lived in Damascus the first 17 years of his life. He is...

Juliette Mako Ibrahim

Juliette Mako Ibrahim is 52-years old. She has been a French citizen for many decades but is originally from Al-Hawash in Syria. At 21 she...

Abu Zuhair

Abu Zuhair is 51 years old and is originally from Syria. He went to France in 1985 to study physics on a university scholarship. After...

Noureddine

Noureddine is a retired French banker, aged 69, with no Syrian, Arab, or non-French family. He is from Rouen, and studied there and in Paris....

Abu Farouq

Abu Farouq is 29-years old and is from a village near Tartous. He did not finish middle school. He comes from a family of farmers,...

Sally Manla

Sally is 24-years old and is from a village near Tartous. Her husband was tortured and imprisoned for a year on two separate occasions in...

Michaal

Michaal is 41 years old and from Damascus. He has a Master’s degree. While living in Damascus, he often travelled abroad for work, including to...

Mohammad Khader

Mohammad Khader is a 32-year-old father of three. His first child, who is 5 years old, was born in Syria where Mohammad lived until 2014....

Natalie Darwish

Natalie Darwish, 23 years old and a Syrian refugee in Germany, is from Deir Ezzor area in Syria. She believes that the majority of refugees...

Ghaid Hashemi

A single mother with two nationalities, Ghaid Hashemi defines herself through her religion and education. She says, "I am a woman, I am a Muslim,...

Afraa Batous

Afraa Batous is 33 years old. She is from Aleppo but lived for a time in Damascus then Beirut before moving to Germany in 2016....

Karim Suleiman

Karim Suleiman is 27 years old and was a citizen journalist in Hama, Syria. In January 2014, he and a colleague were hit by an...

Fiona Torbey

Fiona is 49 years old, English and a naturalized French citizen who has been living in France for many decades. She is a lawyer, currently...

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Nadia El-Haj

Nadia El-Haj, 55 years old, is originally from Damascus but has lived in Stockholm since 1991. Currently, she does not work but she used to...

Alexandra Sandels

Alex is a 38-year old Swedish journalist who studied Arabic and has worked in the Middle East, including in Syria, since 2008. She first travelled...

Khaled Taame

After working in the United Arab Emirates for a number of years, Khaled Taame came back to Damascus and began working as a sound designer...

Najwa Sufi

Najwa Sufi was born in 1944 in Al-Anazah village located between Banyas and Tartous on the Syrian coast. She moved between several towns and cities due...

Akram Atweh

In 1948, Akram Atweh was an infant when his family left the city of Safad in Palestine to seek refuge in southern Lebanon. Later, they...

Ramzya Sarhan

Ramzya Sarhan was born in 1969 in Damascus, where she spent her childhood. She then moved to Jabal al-Zawiya in Idlib Governorate as her father...

Nour Owais

Nour Owais grew up in Yarmouk, a camp for Palestinian refugees just south of Damascus. She completed both her elementary and middle school education at...

Mohamed Noureldin

Mohamad Noureldin began working at the Military Works branch of the Ministry of Defense in Homs in 1992. His role was assistant to one of...

Ansaf Nasr

Ansaf Nasr grew up in a village in as-Suwayda Governorate. She finished elementary school in the village, then stopped going to school because there were...

Aqeel Ahmad

After graduating from secondary school, Aqeel Ahmad applied to the Faculty of Fine Arts at Damascus University, but he wasn’t accepted. He enrolled at the...

Ahmad Mazhar Sa’du

Ahmad Mazhar Sad'du graduated from secondary school in 1980 and moved out of the city of Jericho located in Idlib's countryside. He then went on...

Maryam Hallak

Maryam Hallak got married at the age of seventeen, then, with her husband’s encouragement and her mother’s assistance with childcare, went on to continue her...

Basima Jabry

Basima Jabri was born in 1975 to a Damascene father and a Lattakian mother. Her father died one year after her birth. She lived with...

Arda Kashkashian

Although Arda Kashkashian has been living in Lebanon for several years and has received Lebanese citizenship, Aleppo still occupies a special place in her heart,...

Mohamad Sharbaji

Mohamad Sharbaji was born in 1961 in Daraya, a city with a conservative character. Since the 1960s, the majority of its inhabitants had cultivated the...

Samer Kozah

Samer Kozah was born in Bab Touma, one of the historical neighborhoods in Old Damascus. During the 1950s, people started to neglect their homes, their...

Soubhi Dassoki

After finishing middle school in 1972, Sobhi Dassoki moved from al-Raqqa to Homs to study in the teacher training institute. Four years later, he went...

Miral Zahed

Miral Zahed was born in the city of Homs in 1979 to a Syrian father and Lebanese mother. She describes Homs as a small city,...

Ahlam Nazal

Ahlam Nazal was born in 1968 in al-Silmiya city in the Hama countryside, where most of the people were poor. “The majority of the population...

Akram Al-khatib

Akram al-Khatib was born in 1969 in the city of Raqqa. He went to school there and then moved to Aleppo to study at the...

Abdallah Yousef Turkmani

Abdallah Yousef Turkmani was born in 1948 in the citadel district of Lattakia city, an old neighborhood populated by Sunni Muslims, Alawites, Christians and Armenians....

Omar Jibaiy

For the first ten years of his life, Omar Jibaiy had only ever met his father through the bars of a prison cell. He was...

Nibal Zeitoune

Nibal Zeitoune moved to Damascus to attend university, obsessed with the wish to break free from what she calls “the shell,” of her rigidly conservative...

Elham Hakki

Elham Hakki was born in 1960 in al-Raqqa city. Her father was from al-Raqqa and her mother from Homs. Her father, Mohamed Naji Hakki, established...

Najeh Kowaf

Najah Kowaf was only a child when Hama first witnessed violence and clashes between the Muslim Brotherhood and the ruling regime in 1964. The city...

Jaber Hassan Al Choufi

Jaber Al Choufi was born in 1947 in the village of Sama al-Bardan in rural Damascus. He says that his grandfather was the mayor of...

Nazim Ahmad

An English translation of this story will be posted soon.

Grace Said

Grace Said was among the twelve residents of Lebanon to be interviewed as part of the project "Lebanon Livelihoods" that aimed to document and study the...

Kamal Abu Sahyoun

Kamal Abu Sahyoun was among the twelve residents of Lebanon to be interviewed as part of the project "Lebanon Livelihoods" that aimed to document and study...

Mohamad Khamasy

Mohamad Khamasy was among the twelve residents of Lebanon to be interviewed as part of the project "Lebanon Livelihoods" that aimed to document and study the...

Mohamad Ahmad

Mohamad Ahmad was among the twelve residents of Lebanon to be interviewed as part of the project "Lebanon Livelihoods" that aimed to document and study the...

Mohamad Mousa

Taxi driver Mohamad Mousa was among the twelve residents of Lebanon to be interviewed as part of the project "Lebanon Livelihoods" that aimed to document and...

Taleb Kabbara

Taleb Kabbara was among the twelve residents of Lebanon to be interviewed as part of the project "Lebanon Livelihoods" that aimed to document and study the...

Hussain Zayd

Hussain Zayd was among the twelve residents of Lebanon to be interviewed as part of the project "Lebanon Livelihoods" that aimed to document and study the...

Fatima Abd Alsaleeby

Fatima Abd Alsaleeby was among the twelve residents of Lebanon to be interviewed as part of the project "Lebanon Livelihoods" that aimed to document and study...

Nahed

A former caterer Nahed now owns a salon. She was among the twelve residents of Lebanon to be interviewed as part of the project "Lebanon Livelihoods"...

Raya Alomari

Raya Alomari was among the twelve residents of Lebanon to be interviewed as part of the project "Lebanon Livelihoods" that aimed to document and study the...

Mahmoud Alhaj

Beirut resident and Palestinian Mahmoud Alhaj was among the twelve residents of Lebanon to be interviewed as part of the project "Lebanon Livelihoods" that aimed to...

Abdelhakim Taweel

Abdelhakim Amer Taweel is a nuclear engineer born, raised and based in Tripoli. His father owned a piece of land in Tripoli measuring approximately one...

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Jamal Abdelmotaleb

Jamal Abdelmotaleb was born in 1956 in the town of Bani Walid. His family moved to the capital when he was a youngster, and he...

Maayouf Halasa

Maayouf Massoud Halasa is from the town of Kabaw in the Nafusa Mountains in the west of Libya. He was a graduate of law and...

Dheiba Diaf Zirti

Dheiba Diaf is the widow of Othman Ali Zirti, with whom she had ten children. Zirti was born in 1934 in the area of Tripoli...

Amina Jornazi

Amina Faytouri Jornazi, known to her friends as Mona, opened her home to a young fighter from Derna named Saleh Moadib. Moadib was a fighter...

Faisal Oraygeeb

Faisal Moftah Oraygeeb was on holiday in Tripoli during Gaddafi’s coup of 1969. He had expected to return to the Choueifat boarding school in Lebanon...

Wafia Gantary

Wafia Hassan Gantary and her husband Abdelsalam Abunaama watched the revolution of 2011 unfold from their home, discouraging their seven sons and three daughters from...

Mahmood Abu Shkewa

Mahmood Abdelsalam Abu Shkewa is a sportsman, a boxer, a champion. He was born in Libya and represented his county in various title matches. “In...

Salah Houni

Salah Mohamad Houni was first imprisoned in 1984 for listening to the radio. “I became curious after the NFSL raid on Bab al-Azizia and wanted...

Khadija Omaymi

Khadija Omaymi works as a producer at Libya TV where she makes uncensored programmes about life and people in Libya. During the decade prior to...

Majda Sahli

In January of 1976, Majda Ali Sahli was a third year math student at Tripoli University. Students at the university of Benghazi, where she was...

Ibrahim Kadiki

Ibrahim Abdulhamid Kadiki was a newly married man when, in 1986, he was ordered to join the Libyan forces fighting in Chad or have his...

Salah Haddar

In the 1980s, Gaddafi’s regime was taking large areas of unused land and splitting it up to distribute as part of what they called a...

Moftah Sharef

Moftah Hamad Sharef studied at the Italian air college between 1960 and 1964. He returned to Libya to join its air force and during the...

Fathi Terbil

Fathi Othman Terbil is a Libyan lawyer, the son of an ice cream maker, and among Time magazine’s top 100 influential people of 2011. His...

Najat Kikhia

When Najat Rasheed Kikhia’s brother Mansour resigned form his post as Libyan ambassador to the UN in 1980, the whole family bore the brunt of...

Salim Kadiki

Salim Moussa Issa Kadiki works as a regulator of schools in Benghazi. He was a high school student when on 4 January 1976 students from...

Najla Doughman

Najla Abdelmouled Doughman is an ophthalmologist living in Benghazi. Her father became dean of the University of Libya in 1967 and when the coup of...

Ali Akermi

Ali Akermi was an educated man with a good job at an Italian oil company in 1973. He had moved to Libya from Tunisia, his...

Saleh

Saleh* owned a shop in Tripoli’s famous Souq Tholatha before the government knocked it down without warning in 2009. “Forty thousand families benefited from that...

Abubaker Shareef

Abubaker Ali Shareef was a 22-year-old student of law at Benghazi University when he was first arrested. “I was part of the student movement in...

Abdelkader Tholthy

Abdelkader Ahmad Tholthy was born in November 1986. His mother, Widad, was three months pregnant with him when his father, Ahmad Tholthy, was imprisoned. “We...

Mabrouka Kedo

Mabrouka Mohamad Kedo had eight children with her husband Mustafa Bin Omran when, on 17 January 1984, he was taken in by government forces. “Government...

Bashir Jarbou

Bashir Jarbou was first brought in for questioning in 1973 when he was 17 years old. Government representatives had visited his school to talk about...

Ilham Dabboub

Nursery head Ilham Dabboub had a difficult childhood. She was three years old when her father, Omar Ali Dabboub, was first imprisoned in 1973. “He...

Ausama Shwehdy

Ausama Ali Shwehdy, better known as Sami, was in his first year studying business administration when, in January 1976, a student was killed by Gaddafi’s...

Tamam Baroudi

Tamam Baroudi was born in Hama in 1955 to an affluent family. His father owned several foreign agencies that sold cars and agricultural land. His...

Ibrahim Ezz

Ibrahim Ezz grew up in a conservative Damascus neighborhood before moving to Masaken Barzeh, a relatively modern precinct populated by a mixture of people who...

Jamil Adnahli

Jamil had been politically active since he was in high school and he contributed to the establishment of a political oppositional movement. At one point...

Mazen Al-Kahhal

Mazen al-Kahhal grew up in a Damascene family of pharmacists. His grandfather, who had studied pharmacology in Turkey and founded the Pharmacists' Syndicate in Damascus,...

Safwan Jamo

Safwan Jamo was a young boy when he started going the library at the Cultural Center in Armanaz city in the Idlib countryside. He didn’t...

Khawla Dunya

Khawla Dunya was born in 1968 in Damascus but moved to the town of Al-Suqaylabiyah in the Hama Governorate. She considers herself lucky to have...

Basil al-Sorouji

Basil al-Sorouji was born in Damascus in 1963. He spent the first two years of his life in Algeria then moved with his family to...

Elham Mahfod

Elham Mahfod was born in al-Silmiya city in Hama Governorate in 1948. Her father, Khodr Mahfod, was a revolutionary who took part in the Great...

Ayman Abo Hachem

Ayman Abo Hachem was born in 1969 in the Handarat Palestinian Refugee Camp north of Aleppo. The camp was established in the early 1960s and...

Samira Bahow

Samira Bahow was born in 1947 in Aleppo to a middle-income family. Although they were illiterate, her parents strongly encouraged her to pursue her education....

Abdallah Khairo Burgul

Abdallah Burgul moved with his family to the city of Saraqib, his mother’s hometown, in 1953. However, his love and attachment to Kafr Nabl always...

Hala Al Nasser

Hala al-Nasser grew up in Raqqa province, where she completed her primary and preparatory education. She then moved to Hama in order to continue her...

Ihab Al-Said

Ihab al-Said was born in 1965 in Qadisiyah village in Al-Haffah region of the Latakia province. Ihab says that Al-Haffah community was composed of three...

Jinan al-‘Awwad

Jinan al-’Awwad was born in 1958 in al-Mayadin in Deir ez-Zor, a town on the banks of the Euphrates, about 45 kilometers away from the...

Nada

Nada* was born in 1974 to a father from as-Suwayda' province and a mother from Aleppo. Nada grew up in Aleppo, studied there and then...

Bakir Mohammad Ali

Bakir Mohammad Ali was born in 1974 to a Turkmen family living in the village of Shamarin in the northern A'zaz countryside near the Turkish...

Abdel Kader Adel Hay

Abdel Kader Abdel-Hay's interest in football began in his early childhood. His skills compared to others in his age attracted the attention of the school's...

Murshid al-Nayef

Murshid al-Nayef was born in 1968 in the town of Tal Rif'at in the northern Aleppo countryside. He completed school there, and then went to...

Ousama

Ousama* was born in 1967 in the Bab Hud neighborhood of Homs to a middle-income well-known ancient family. Bab Hud is one of the ancient neighborhoods...

Abu Reda al-Maydani

Abu Reda al-Maydani grew up in the Damascene district of al-Midan, which extended from Bab Musalla to the end of al-Ashmar Square up to the...

Kibriya’ Al-Sa’ur

Kibriya’ Al-Sa’ur grew up in the city of Yabroud in rural Damascus, a city known for the beauty of its nature, its large proportion of...

Ahmad Aisha

Ahmed Aisha grew up in a village in the A’zaz region of rural Aleppo. In the early eighties, he moved into the city of Aleppo...

Wafaa Mohamad

Wafaa Mohamad was born in Saraqeb in the countryside of Idlib, a city famous for its diverse agricultural crops such as grains, olives and cotton....

Hafez Karkut

Hafez Karkut was still a child when he moved from As-Suwayda' province to Damascus, where his brothers were studying at the university. He lived in...

Jamil al-Kayyem

Jamil al-Kayyem was born in the city of Palmyra, a city distinguished by its rich historical and archaeological sites. Most of the city's population worked...

Abdel Razzaq el-Laz

Abdel Razzak El-Laz was born in 1960 in the eastern countryside of Aleppo to an educated and middle-income family. His mother worked as an educator...

Rami Al-Assaf

Rami al-Assaf was born in 1977 in Deir ez-Zor, east of Syria. He grew up in Al-Tabaqa in Raqqa province, a working class city whose...

Adeeb Alshalaf

Adeeb Alshalaf grew up in the neighborhood of Baba Amr in Homs, a neighborhood of both rural and urban character since it had been part...

Abdul Bary Othman

Abdul Bary Othman was born in 1962 in the Kurdish village of al-Kouwa in Al-Hasakah governorate, 19 km from Qamishli city. He lived a simple...

Mariam Zakaria

Mariam Abdelrahman Zakaria grew up in the city of Deir Atiyah in the Damascus countryside. The city is famous for its beauty, infrastructure and outstanding...

Hasan il-Nefi

Hasan il-Nefi was raised by a modest rural family in Manbij city in the countryside of Aleppo. The city was a mix of rural and...

Mahmoud Aboud Al Wahab

Mahmoud Al Wahab was born in 1945 to a very poor family in the city of al-Bab in rural Aleppo. He says that al-Bab was...

Marwan Abdul Razak

Marwan Abdul Razak was born in 1954 in the city of Masyaf in Hama governorate, but hails from the village of Maryamin in the district...

Nazmeye Noureddine Hasan

Nazmeye Hasan grew up in as-Salhiya neighborhood of Damascus. She stayed there until 1975, when she moved with her family to al-Hajar al-Aswad neighborhood, south...

Samir Nashar

Samir Nashar was born in Aleppo in 1945. Like many of his generation, he says he was influenced by the romantic socialist ideas that prevailed...

Mohamed Berro

Mohamed Berro was arrested in 1980 because of a leaflet he was carrying that goes back to the “Fighting Vanguard” or the military wing of...

Sabrie Abtini

On the day she was born in 1953, Sabrie Abtini’s grandmother was angry because the newborn wasn’t a male. She left the house feeling upset...

Amina Nona

Amina Nona started her own clinic in Haritan, a town in the countryside north of Aleppo, at a time when the area lacked midwives or...

Majed Al Alloush

Majed Khaled Al Alloush was born in 1959 in the city of Deir Ezzor. He describes it as one of the biggest cities in eastern...

Wafaa Affas

Wafaa Affas grew up in Armanaz in the Idlib countryside, where she studied and finished high school. She took the high school exam in Riyadh,...

Hayat al-Bitar

Hayat al-Bitar was born and raised in the city of Latakiya, until she was married at the age of seventeen and moved with her husband...

Ehsan Hammadeh

Ehsan Hammadeh was raised by a poor family in Aleppo. He went to middle school then enlisted in the army in 1967 so that he...

Reem Seifeddine

Reem Seifeddine was raised in a middle-class family in the village of Jusiya, located within Hama Province. She demonstrated academic excellence early, during elementary school,...

Nada Abdul Kader

Nada Abdul Kader was born in 1989 to a huge family living in Aleppo and originating from the countryside south of Aleppo. Her parents were...

Anas Abbas

Anas Abbas’ father taught him how to read and write at a very early age. By the time he was four years old he was...

Firas Younes

Firas Younes began his political activity at an early age in Syria. In 1978 at the age of 15 he joined the Communist Labor Party...

Miryam Boushi

Miryam Boushi was born in the town of Binnish in Idlib province, and began working in the fields, planting the crops and harvesting them from...

Dana Yacoub

Dana Yacoub, 34, recalls the gatherings of the Circassian community, held yearly on the seventeenth of April in the two villages of Bariqa and Bi’ir...

Fouad Fouad

Fouad Fouad enrolled in medical school at Aleppo University in 1978, around the same time as the remaining social, cultural and political student movements were...

Shamweel Warda

Shamweel Warda attended elementary school in the village of Qabar Shamiyah, one of the Assyrian villages located on the banks of the Khabur River in...

Hasna Assaf

Hasna Assaf recalls some of the customs and traditions practiced by the Turkmen in the village of Talf in rural Hama, where there was a...

Amira Ajmiye

Amira Ajmiye doesn’t remember her birthdate. She was born in the city of Talkalakh in rural Homs province, at the time when it was under...

Fatima Hassan

Fatima Hassan grew up in difficult circumstances, abused and beaten constantly by her brothers. She married a Palestinian-Jordanian man at the age of 20, who...

Mahmoud Abu Misto

Mahmoud Abu Misto was born in 1943 in the city of Al-Zabadani in the Rif Dimashq province His family was poor and subsisted on agriculture....

Naaman Haj Bakri

Naaman Haj Bakri is a theater actor from Latakiya Province. He began his artistic journey at the age of thirteen, acting and singing in school...

Yehya Ghiryani

Yehya Ghiryani grew up in the Qaterji neighborhood in Aleppo, a working-class neighborhood where most of the inhabitants came from rural areas, though there were...

Khalil Ibrahim

Khalil Ibrahim’s village in rural Aleppo is only about fifteen kilometers away from the Turkish border. It is bound on the north and east by...

Moustafa Ahmad

“The pharmacist who needs ten years to establish a life for himself in a rural area can achieve the same result in only one or...

Ahmad Miz

Ahmad Miz’s mother died of bone cancer when he was only three years old, leaving him and his two older brothers behind. Ahmad’s mother had...

Khaled Habood

Khaled Habood was born in Hasakah, in northeastern Syria. Whilst his family was Arab they adopted many of the customs of the multiple inhabitants of...

Nadia Saeed

Nadia Saeed grew up in the village of Ras al-Ain in the Qalmoun area in Rif Dimashq Province. She lived a simple, rural life within...

Jamila Amin

Jamila Amin flips through her journal, recalling the beautiful days spent at her grandmother’s house in Syria’s Quneitra Province. “That was the only time where...

Maria

“When I was little, people would ask me what I wanted to be when I grow up. I would repeat my father’s words, who wanted...

George

George* talks about the relationship he had with his Jewish neighbors while growing up in Aleppo. “I don’t really remember much about the relationship we...

Elham Farhat

Elham Farhat grew up in a modest family living in the Rashidieh camp for Palestinian refugees, just outside of Saida in southern Lebanon. Her parents...

Rima Oshana

Rima Oshana recalls some of the different social occasions celebrated by the Assyrians in Hassake province in eastern Syria. The Assyrian New Year, for example,...

Ahmad Abdel Aal

Ahmad Abdel Aal was born in 1954 in the village of Jubata ez-Zeit in Quneitra province. He lived there with his family until the age...

Toufic Mohamad

Toufic Mohamad recalls his childhood in his village in rural Hassake, how he would play in the fields with the other children while their fathers...

Najah Ahmad

Najah Ahmad grew up in one of the villages in Suweida province. Her father worked in Kuwait and Libya, then as an art therapist in...

Sana Yazigi

“I was really happy during my time at university,” says Sana, “despite the anxiety we felt because of the general atmosphere of fear and inhibition....

Joumana Khamousie

For the first five years of her life, Joumana Khamousie lived in Beirut. Her mother is Palestinian-Lebanese and her father Syrian, from Hama. Her father...

Abdelsalam Hamdan

Abdelsalam Hamdan is from Deir Ez-Zor Province. A lack of general education in the area along with local customs that promoted early marriage, resulted in...

Abeer Idriss

Abeer Idriss was born to a Sunni father and an Ismaili mother in the town of Masyaf, part of Hama Province in Syria. “Most of...

Maryam Darweesh

Maryam Darweesh was born in the town of Al-Sakhna in the Syrian desert, located between the provinces of Homs and Deir ez-Zor. Al-Sakhna is a...

Hussain Abdel Rahman

Hussain Abdel Rahman was only seventeen when he one day met a man who had suffered from a psychological disorder since the age of seven....

Sami Abu Halkha

Sami Abu Halkha fell in love with music as soon as he opened his eyes to the world. By the age of fifteen, he already...

Nour Shamaa

Nour Shamaa grew up in a conservative, working-class neighborhood in Aleppo. He began attending classes on Islamic Sharia law at one of the local mosques...

Mohamad Khalaf

Mohamad Khalaf belongs to the Al-Uqaydat tribe, made up of an alliance of different clans living in Homs and Deir ez-Zor provinces, as well as...

Kheiro Qasim

Kheiro Hammoud Khasem learned the basics of farming from his father and older brother, and began working the land when he was only 8 years...

Mohamad Dibo

Mohamad Dibo was born in the town of Al-Anaza, part of the city of Baniyas on the Syrian coast. Mohamad says that the prevailing outlook...

Walaa Mousa

Right from the very start, Walaa Mousa was unhappy about getting engaged. She wanted to finish university first and get her diploma in Arabic literature....

Mira

Mira grew up in a poor neighborhood on the edge of Damascus, dubbed Dammar al-Balad (which tellingly translates into “the country was destroyed”). She never...

Adnan Farmelli

Adnan Farmelli’s childhood was greatly impacted by his parents’ separation. Their constant fighting was compounded by his mother’s bad health, and Adnan and his sisters...

Ahmad Amer Shbareq

Architect and businessman Ahmad Amer Shbareq was born in Aleppo, and marked his entrance to the business world in 1990 when he opened an embroidered...

Bilal Ahmad Ghazal

Bilal Ahmad Ghazal was just twelve years old when he began going out to sea to learn cage fishing, encouraged by his friend and brother....

Aebesh Khalil

Aebesh Khalil was born in 1962 in Afrin, in rural Aleppo. He was brought up in the general atmosphere of coexistence and tolerance that prevailed...

Rida Abdelaal

Rida Abdelaal was born in the village of Al-Qasimiya in the Damascus suburb of Eastern Ghouta. He worked on his father’s land, but the income...

Hala Al-Mashhadani

Hala Al-Mashhadani grew up in a simple rural community, in a village named Abu Houri, in the Qaysar area of Homs province. At twelve, she...

Zeina

Zeina* was born in Sweida Province in southern Syria. She studied Business Administration and Psychology at university and specialized in the rehabilitation of those with...

Malek Satoof

Malek Satoof was born in Sheikh Alwan village in eastern rural Aleppo. “My village is quite remote,” he says, “far from the main highway. Most...

Ghada Hamoud

Ghada al-Haj Hamoud grew up in the town of Jdeidat Artouz in Rif Dimashq Province. Her family was Muslim in a predominantly Christian neighborhood, where...

Jamila Fallag

“What is the difference between Gaddafi and the Italians?” Jamila Mohamad Fallag asked her father as a young teenager when in 1977 Gaddafi publically hanged...

Mustafa al-Shaykh Fattouh

Mustafa al-Shaykh Fattouh graduated from the Teacher’s Institute in the city of Homs in 1989. The educational system at the time required new teachers to...

Youssef bin Harez

Youssef Ali Bin Harez was at the military academy in 1986 when he and a number of his fellow students were told that they would...

Jamal Basheer

Jamal Saleh Basheer was born in 1962 in the Souq Jomaa district of Tripoli and raised by parents who had never been employees of the...

Abubaker Ghiryani

Abubaker Mohamed Ghiryani was arrested on a Monday morning in 1997. “It was just before three in the morning when eight cars surrounded my home...