Fayez, 25 years old

I came in 2012. I am from Tel Kelekh in the countryside of Homs. I was studying web marketing and public relations at university. I made sure I attended my exams and did the work I had to do for university despite  the bombings and tensions around me. One day, all of a sudden, our house was bombed as we were sitting inside. We had to leave as soon as possible. There were only my 2 siblings and I. Our parents were already in Lebanon. It was an awful night, shelling everywhere, but still we could not stop laughing while hiding behind the closet. My parents called ordering us to leave immediately.

My older brother and I did not have any trouble crossing the border but my younger brother was wanted for military service. We (my oldest brother and I) came through the official border whereas my little brother went through al-Musheyrifah. We had to cross the river until he reached Wadi Khaled valley. At checkpoints, soldiers tend to get suspicious when they see a laptop computer, therefore I had to tell them that I was a student going to attend courses in Lebanon.

The thing I brought with me is a key to our beautiful house in Syria. I used to carry it around with me but now I keep it in my closet. Even when I was staying in another house, I had it with me. At some point I asked myself why am I carrying this key to my old house? I still hold on to this key because it represents something very important for me. What also means a lot to me are the pictures that I could not bring…

It was my first time in Lebanon. I thought that I would be amazed by what I was going to see. Firstly, I wanted to see people because we had been almost prisoners in our house, without the possibility of going out for a long time. I walked through all the areas of Tripoli. I realized it was 7:00pm and there was no one in the streets. People were at home. In Homs, people and cars used to be out all night, until 5am!

I work for a psychological support project for women and children here; we work with them through reenactment and performance. It is something that helps me sleep at night. It changed my goal in life. In 4 months time, I want to travel and become more professional in my work. That way, one day, I will go back to Syria with a different strength and energy.