Runaways From "Paradise" .. Syrians Gave Up the European Dream!

Runaways From

Reports | 22 11 2016

While he was on the boat of death on his way to Europe, Rafat did not imagine that he will take the risk again after a year and a half of arriving in Europe, taking another smuggling route, but returning to Syria this time.

He confirmed that he prefers dying to stay away from his wife and children, who live in the city of Damascus, especially after their reunion procedures were retarded.

He said: "I was dreaming this moment when I will meet my family at the airport, but after a long waiting, I took my decision, gave up my residency and decided to go back to Syria. I went to Greece first, then I took a mainland route to Turkey, as the Turkish Embassy denied my Visa application to enter the Turkish territory."

He added: "I suffered a lot in the smuggling routes, but I had to come back because my family needs me."

Rafat added that he continued the trip of return from Turkey to Lebanon then to Syria, legally, using his Syrian passport, which made him capable to entering the country without any troubles.

Failure to adapt

At the time that Europe became an attractive destination for many Syrians who fled the war, some of them took the decision of returning to Syria or Turkey, prompted by different reasons. 

At the beginning of this year, the Germany government pointed out in an official statement, to more than 20 thousand refugees came back to their country willingly between last January and April, and about 22 thousand refugees came back in 2015, and about 14 thousand in 2014.

Abu Ammar, a Syrian refugee in Holland two years ago, he gave up his residency with his family and preferred to leave “the dream land”, heading for Turkey to start a new life.

“after we fought the dangerous cruise to Holland, but with the passage of time, we were not able to coexist with their society and costumes, because they are very different from the society we came from, and I, as a father, I felt so afraid for my daughters of the social openness in Europe, and as my duty is to protect my family, I took the decision to give up my right in asylum.”

He added that his wife and daughters were exposed to a lot of harassments because of their veil (hijab), especially after the tension took place in Europe generally and the hatred towards Muslims. As the choice of going back to Syria is very hard because of the ongoing war there, he settled in Turkey, because according to him: “Syrians can live in Turkey, without been exposed to any kind of religious racism.”

Despite that the European countries were the forerunner in receiving Syrian refugees and welcoming them like Germany, Sweden, and Canada, but the increasing influence of the right-wing parties and their hostile behavior against refugees has raised the concerns of refugees there, and made them thinking of coming back to Syria or Turkey. In Germany for instance, the voice of the extremist nationalist right-wing parties became very loud against refugees recently, according to the recent polls.

It is not a paradise

The Syrian refugee Dana, who lives in Germany, did not hide her desire in going back to her country, despite passing more than a year on arriving Europe accompanied by her parents because the bitter waiting for her residency papers caused a chronic depression and frustration for her.

She illustrated: "I and my family fled the war in Syria, thinking that Europe is the paradise, but our life stopped the moment we entered this country, to live in the refugees’ camps like the prisoners, under very hard conditions. We did not get our residency papers until now, and if it will take longer time, we will manage to come back from where we came from."

The Syrian who wants to give up his right in the asylum, cannot leave until he gets the residency papers and the travel document, but if he has his Syrian passport, he will be able to go back to Syria or any other country which is available for Syrians without a visa.


Europe received a lot of Syrian people, some of them were able to adapt to the European society and start a new life.

Sabin Mousa, and expert in the refugees’ issues and works in one of the refugees’ centers in the Germany city of Essen, she pointed out to that many Syrian were shocked once they arrive in Europe, supposing that the European will offer them the housing, money, and cars, and they did not think that their waiting in the Sheltering Centers may last for months.

She added: “There is no doubt that the number of Syrian refugees has increased, and putting them in camps with bad conditions, and the slow procedure in getting the residency, all these are reasons may prompt Syrians to give up their right in the asylum, and go back to their country.”

She also pointed out to the importance of the psychological and social aspects for the Syrians who think of giving up the right of asylum, because the Old Continent is very different from the country they came from in the terms of customs, traditions, and especially the language, which is considered to be a real obstacle for the uneducated Syrian people.

There are no precise numbers until now for the Syrian refugees who gave up the right of asylum and went back to their country, but many stories and testifies indicate that the matter became serious and upswing.

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