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At the age of 18 you are supposed to serve in the military. At that time I had no problem because I started to study at the university and as long as you are studying you are allowed to delay it as long as you are doing well with your academic career. My troubles started during my last year since after my graduation I would have been forced to do the military service which before the war meant that I had to spend 2 years somewhere doing nothing and being a burden for my family that had to support me financially. In the light of this I decided to fail some exams on purpose in order to postpone conscription.

After my graduation I tried to escape the military service because of medical reasons. I pretended to have a disorder at my back and underwent some medical tests. The outcome was that there is really something wrong, but I was glad to have that problem hoping I could be exempted from the military service. Unfortunately what I had was not enough. At that time I only had two options: to keep on postponing it while studying or to go to Saudi Arabia and work there. I decided to stay and study, since I couldn’t imagine myself living in Saudi Arabia surrounded by potential extremists.

I had a good job in Syria and at the same time I was doing my master. That was a very good time and everything was going well until 2011 when the situation started deteriorating. Everything changed out of the blue so I had to change all my plans. The first decision was to delay my university study as long as I could while improving my English to have more chances to get a visa and work abroad. I only needed someone sponsoring me and I thought my brother would have done it for me.

So everything went well. I passed the TOEFL test and finished my master with a high grade. Unfortunately at the end my brother -who has been living and working in Australia for many years now- refused to sponsor me saying that his dream is to die in Syria. I replied to him that it would be easy now to fulfill his dream. But not through me.

With no chance to study for a PHD in Syria because most of the Syrian professors fled the country I was totally demotivated and had to hide in my village since the army was looking for me and being found would be like a death sentence.

I applied to delay the military service for travel reasons so I paid an amount of money and just waited for a reply. After three months of anxiety and hiding my application was accepted.

Without wasting precious time I applied for a student visa in Czech Republic and at first I was accepted by a Czech university. Nevertheless, my application was rejected later on since I am Syrian and I might have asked for asylum in their country!!

Desperate and with no time left I decided to flee Syria hoping that I could make it to Germany through the sea and here I am.

My problem now is my younger brother who will finish his university next month and his chances to get a delay is so narrow because he already tried everything possible. I can’t imagine him in the army or hiding in the village as I did. Moreover, I don’t want him to go through what I have suffered when I was hiding in the village or the panic that I felt when I saw a check point when I was wanted.

I am so helpless with all borders closed now and sometimes I have the feeling that just because we are Syrians we don’t have the right to live!!!

The writer wishes to remain anonymous

15-10

*taken from here

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