Noor, 21 years old

I have been here for about 3 years because things got really complicated in Syria, in Homs. I studied at Aleppo University but the city was getting more difficult to live in so I had to leave. My family decided to come to Lebanon and I arrived here 2 weeks before them. We had to cross separately because they were not allowing families to cross unless they paid a lot of money. However, even if you paid money you might not have been able to cross. My brother went first, then me a week later, then my family came 13 days after that. First I went from Aleppo to Homs. Then I took the road to Tel Kelekh and Dabussy. Through Abu Samra I went on to Tripoli.

I brought a lighter with me. It belongs to my fiancée in Aleppo. He forgot it on the table once and I took it. Every time I saw him afterwards, he said to me to give it back to him and I would answer that I would not give it back to him. It was just a normal lighter. That was when I was planning to go to Lebanon but the roads to Homs were blocked so I took time to plan. My fiancée did not know about this plan. I did not tell him because he was pro-Assad. Despite how close we were we agreed at the beginning of the revolution not to talk politics. I am for the revolution. Aleppo was calm then but I was always worried about my family in Homs. I was always talking to them to make sure they were safe and all right. My fiancée is not exactly pro-Assad; he is just against any sabotage actions that could lead to the destruction of the country. He thinks that if Bashar had the time to reform, he could do it. But I always argued that if he really wanted to reform he had a long time to do it, 11 years. And he just kept talking about it without doing anything at all. During our last year together in Syria we had arguments. Finally we decided not to talk about it because we knew we would fight. When things got really complicated in Tel Kelekh I rented a car for my family in Tel Kelekh to bring them to Homs and then to Aleppo. They were not permitted to cross the border into Lebanon at that time. But in the end we all managed to get here.

My fiancée is in Egypt now. Fortunately, they managed to get a flight from Aleppo to Egypt. He put his family on that plane to Egypt and then he went to Damascus and from Damascus to Beirut and then to Tripoli to see me. He at least managed to come see me once. We communicate through the Internet.

I do not know how long I will stay here. We decided that if the situation in our town would ease off, we would go back but unfortunately we found out that our house was destroyed, and we have no place to stay anymore. All my uncles and relatives stayed at our house because theirs were destroyed, and now this one is destroyed too. I myself cannot go back because I heard they know now that we are working with Syrian refugees for NGOs here in Lebanon. Our lives, my sister’s and mine, may be at risk if we go back.

There was one time we were sitting in the house with my friends and we counted 59 bombs around us. Boom boom boom! After the Free Syrian Army took charge of the countryside of Aleppo we held demonstrations at Aleppo University. I joined most of them. We used to finish our exams and go to the demonstrations straight after. I did not tell my fiancée that I was going to those demonstrations.