Jalal is a Syrian refugee. He fled his home in Aleppo, Syria due to the war; and arrived to Rome in November 2018.
He says although the media reports the war is over in Syria, people are still fleeing from the country. This is because they do not feel safe and it is difficult for them to rebuild their lives there.
“We want to come back and build our future. However, I think it is very hard to return.” “It is eight, nine years of war that has not finished. I lost eight years of my life for nothing, just waiting.”
According to Jalal, the war has left many families separated from one another and living in different parts of the world, unable to be together.
Jalal believes the war was caused by outside interference, driven by political agendas. He says in order to help Syria, the international community needs to invest in rebuilding not destroying the country. They need to let Syrian people take control of their future.
“Not support by bombs, by missiles, by machine guns, by tanks. They can support by food and money for the people who need help.”
Jalal also adds that before the war, the people all lived in peace. However, now he lost his grandmother, friends and is far away from his family.
It was the San Egidio community that helped bring Jalal to Rome. It is a Christian organization focused on fraternally assisting those living on the peripheries of society.
“It is especially secure, which is very important. This is because they know the people who they are bringing. They bring us here safely not by the sea.” “We are coming by plane and everything is legal. Here they have programs for us. They have a school for us to learn the language, a house for us to stay in and prepare for our future step-by-step.”
After the many tragedies of refugee drowning at sea San Egidio along with Italian Protestant Churches have established the Humanitarian Corridors project. It is also in response to Pope Francis call to welcome, protect, promote and integrate migrants.
Its aim is to support the integration of refugees into other countries. In 2017, they even helped more than 1,000 Syrian refugees escape Lebanon.
Despite the difficulty of readjusting to life in Europe, Jalal hopes to start a new life and build a future for himself.