About Refugees, By Refugees

Portrait of refugee Dlbar hugging her mother

Dlbar Omar

Pictures taken in:



Photo and interview by:

United Kingdom



Zozan Yasar

“My dream… [was to] get happy and excited and more meet peoples,” says Dlbar Omar (10), a refugee from Syria who now lives in Edinburgh with her parents and siblings. Dlbar says she is “happy in Scotland” but misses her friends. In Syria, “I was like really scared and sad,” she says. Dlbar explains that the family could not leave their home after 6pm: “If you go outside you will go in a jail. It’s real bad.” On arriving in Scotland, she recalls: “it was really exciting you can go whatever time is it.” While happy to be going to school, not speaking English made making friends difficult: “If I can’t talk English, they’ll never play with me.” As well as speaking English, she wanted to dance: “I saw a lot of pupils are like dancing. I was like saying, OK, I wanna dance.” Now she practices dancing with her brother and friends while watching videos on Tiktok. “My dream is like, I want to be a dancer,” she says. “With a lot of people being a dancer with me and exciting dance time.”

Trigger Warning:

full interview

How are you?

Oh, you are one of my most beautiful um interviewee and I’m happy to interview. How are you today? How is it going?
Good, fine thanks.

Okay, now I will ask you some question and then, first, I want to ask, what kind of housing do you live? Can you describe for me?

Yeah, you are to…you can describe this house. Like what…what…what kind of house do you live?
It is like… what’s it again?

Is it good or bad?
It’s really good and it’s really nice. It have really long gardens. It have three gardens inside this house.

Three gardens?
Yep, one, two, three. And on the outside, the bushes they’re like a lot bushes, look so big. But you cut it. And it’s real nice. Kind of a little bit big inside this house. But my other house was real tiny. And this house is more better. It is have like everything is-when we first come in to this house it was all clean…

And all of these, like the tables, the bed they were all clean but other house the all of the, all of the bed, they were all broken.

Mmmm Mmm.
It didn’t make any sense. It was real, real messy. And so some of my friends, they were inside the house, they don’t like it.

When before we come there my other friend they were inside there, they’re all telling me the house was real old. They… they went out. They can’t stand it anymore. It’s real old.

Oh, it’s very interesting.
And they went out and we went after them and we went inside and it was real old either. And we go can’t take it anymore we say. Then mom also will want everything taken inside the house my mom can’t get anything put inside the house because we are going to be going in… Going in our house and we were look for looking for every single house, we were looking for real big one but they don’t have any stairs inside it because my mom can’t walk on the stairs, her back, it hurt. So, yeah.

Ok. Who do you live with?

Who do you live with?
My mom, dad, my sister and brothers.

Oh yeah. Good. How do you spend your time?

Do you study or?
Study, reading, watching TV on my phone, watching Tiktok dancing, uhh playing with my friend outside, uhh sometime going on my bike or my scooter, and sometimes just playing with my dolls. Uhh, I don’t know what else.

Okay. What are some things bring, things that bring you joy?

What do you enjoy mostly?
Inside this house?

Doesn’t matter, like in Scotland, in your house, you can tell me that what brings you joy?
Oh, it is it make me get happy when we first come to Scotland. It make me get happy and so excited because it was my first time when I was here, when I was at Kurdistan they were all a lot of people fight in my school. They were like if you didn’t, if you don’t get answers right, they should like slap you. It hurt real bad.

But when we come here, when the first time I go to school I couldn’t answer it and all right I was thinking that my teacher will do that to me either. But it turns out, she was like she was keeping helping me and I was like I was keeping talking to my friend and they were really nice to me. And we went all together, we’ve been friends and we come into our house and we got everything great. And we meet some of peoples to talk Kurdish either. And I mix them with all my friends to Kurdish they can talk either and I have a lot of fun day here.

OK, hmmm wow! Ok since you are here in Scotland, what, what, what has been good about being here or what has been difficult for you? you can tell me things like that’s been good for you and that’s been difficult for you
Ummmm…I don’t have any idea.

Difficult question?

Is it a difficult question? Like, for example, I know that there are so, so many good things for me in Scotland that make me happy, bring good things, but also I miss my family, for example. This is like, for me difficult, like I miss my friends. And then this kind of thing happened to me. But what about you? What makes you, for example-
Happy in Scotland.

Happy and then make what’s difficult for you?
Oh, umm when I first come to school and it make me get happy something, umm I was like, well first I was like I was I didn’t even know it, I didn’t either know there was this world was, when first I come. And I was like I was going to first go to my school, so all of their pupils they were all like all round in there and I was like so excited, I can’t wait to go. And when I come back home I was like saying okay I need to go learn about everything in school so I can be for a friend and my friend I can have talks with them. If I can’t talk English, they’ll never play with me. And I was reading a book and it keep helping me. If you read a book, it can tell about everything and what’s happening and how do you make a friends. And when I first like come here, I was like really excited. And I saw a lot of pupils are like dancing. I was like saying, OK, I wanna dance either, I was like trying to dance on Tiktok and and my brother, everyone know about Tiktok and we have exciting time together, we keeping dancing outside and in the middle of the school like a lot of my teachers they will want to dance either because they’re like looking at (unclear) like oh my god you guys are so good at dancing and I said thank you and they’re like keep laughing at us. Some, some of them like they just can’t do it, so they’re like laughing. So exciting.

Good. So you told me a lot of feeling about yourself. And can you tell me how it feels to live in Scotland here in this country, how it’s made you make you feel you living here?
It makes me happy. And I mean, get happy, or like really excited if you come here, you can probably have, like, such a really exciting time. And it was really exciting you can go whatever time is it, you can just go outside.

Oh, nice.
And but when I was…when I was in Syria, you can’t either go outside o’clock six…if it’s o’clock six you can’t go outside anymore. If you go outside you will go in a jail. It’s real bad.

Uh huh. Do you ever think that this is not your country or you feel like you’re homesick, you feel you miss Kurdistan?
I do miss it. And I miss a lot of my friends in Kurdistan either and when I first was coming here I was still like small, I was like a baby still. There was only one year old, one month, and being here like I feel like I’m living here right now. And by the way, I I I keep forgetting about my own, my own language and my mom, my dad they keep trying remember it me. I don’t remember anything anymore.

OK, so what makes you to like handle difficult situation here in this country and or do you usually, for example, when you came here, probably it’s a new country and then you’re so upset, but there are something probably keep you just help you to stay strong and then overcome all these difficult…these things. And what is this?
Umm when I first we were gonna come to Scotland, I was like keeping crying. My mom would say, if you go if you get out if you should go in a airplane, you don’t have to cry. I was like keeping cry I was gonna say I was missing my friend. And there’s a lot of our family, they were all there, near like close to my own house. I still remember it, when we were there, there is like a lot of my mom, the friends they were keeping quiet on us. I was…like can’t stop crying. I was keep crying. And when we first we come here, I was like really sad. I was keeping every single, I was like I was keep on crying to my friends, I was saying oh I’m gonna miss them, and all of my mom they were like missing all of them either. My sister, she’s was missing her, all of her friend either. She was really want to go back there, all of us we want to go, but by my mom and my dad, they were saying we can’t cause Corona and uh it was all Corona, it was all Coronavirus’ fault, they can’t let us get it, go over there again. And so we don’t have any idea of what they’re gonna do. If they first they come here, it’s going to close my school and no one would never…they weren’t talking to me like a lot cause I was can’t talk English.

So how did you feel then when they… They didn’t talk with you? When you couldn’t when you couldn’t speak English. How-how did you feel?
Feel sad. I was like… when I was coming back home I was crying. I was like saying why no one talking to me at all?

But how did you change this one?
Um, I when I went, I was having (unclear) and my teacher was saying, “Why you’re not playing with anyone else?” And I was telling her sh- I tell her about everything, what just happened to me and she was asking the whole class she was saying I could talk English more better. And everyone were like saying, OK, she can’t talk. And a lot of my friend they were leaving school, they were saying, like, they want to be nice friends with us. And there’s a lot of them they were moving. And I was trying to talk to them a little closely and they were telling me about… and it went to like all over. I was thinking I was like I couldn’t be friends with them I get. And I was all talking to them. They show me around the whole school. They were saying these is are teachers like this and like this. And they told me about a whole, all of the regions. They were saying to me like you have to be real good, everyone can’t be friends with you if you don’t talk to them or like ignore to them or like go away from them. They will be, you’re gonna be playing with them with you either, so I was trying to be friend with them.

Oh, alright.
And we made it all friend and that’s how it happen.

Wow, That’s great. So let’s talk about the Covid-19 and how Covid-19 affected you like in that your daily life and your mood and how did you feel during this time and how change know how to change, what change in your life doing Covid-19?
Over corona?

Corona, yeah.
Um, when at first I was (unclear) it was coronavirus, I was can’t meet anyone else from my school. They were all moving. They were all getting out of the school. They were keeping staying at home and right now, we don’t have any more lot, people come to school out. We only have ten people inside in the inside our class. So first we have thirty-one people inside our class, now there’s only ten people left.

It all of them, they were like moving school. Our school will have like a lots, a lot of Coronavirus because um everyone was saying our school was more better because you don’t have like see like real those bad words on it and everyone there all inside the high school. They come in our school and everyone back at high school cause high school don’t no one left inside. Everyone in high school because high school it is like uh like the teacher they being mean kind of. They would be a little bit mean to children and now the teachers they’re trying to be helpful, at helping the people either in Corona was like real bad was. Uhh, yeah that’s it.

So do you feel you can handle the the situation without not seeing your friends in school?
I will speak with them. I was like trying to h- play with them and now they’re all changing schools and –

Do you- do you enjoy the the classes on online?
Yeah. Sometime.

But which one do you prefer online or the really school?
Really School. It will be more better we’ll like we’ll talk to them and play with them and have a lot of fun with each other and yeah.

So okay. Let me ask you something, some questions about your past and why did you leave Kurdistan, and can you tell me what happened?
In Kurdistan, uh when I was first going there, my mom told me about everything there, when I was first going there I were like scared. It was like kind of sad and I was like real scared at it. It was like all muddy, with garbage all around in there. It was like all raining and all of there it was like really sad and even we were like running out of there and people were trying to come all way… wait at first when I think when we were like, like uh…

What? Hm?
When we were first like it there, and I was like really scared and sad, made it look and I was looking at it, I was like keepin’ feeling it.

Keep on feeling?

What do you mean?
Like if you, like, feel sad.

Feel sad, yeah.
Um, I was like keeping touching it. I was like saying ohh this feel like slime. I was keep on playing it with it and I went like more excited and happy I meet a lot of friend around it my house and meet like a lot of peoples all around and all of Kurdistan and I was like oh everywhere I meet a lot of boys and girls, we were have a lot of fun together. Uh, yeah.

Yeah. But do you remember exactly what happened where you left Kurdistan?
Oh. No, I don’t remember it.

You don’t remember OK, thats OK.
But it was we really were like kinda excited and excited and excited, and my dad would go like a phone call from here and there were like call my dad they were saying my dad can’t talk English and my Dad can talk a little bit. He was kind of a little bit sad on them, sad about it. And my dad was like keeping saying, yes, yes, yes. But I don’t know what was they were saying. And it just turn around and kept telling us a message to say we had to go over there and there and here we went like all of us who lost all of this stuff like real important right? And we went into a plane. We went to stay there two days and I was like, never sleeping inside there. I mean, the lunch was not that much good cuz I didn’t even know what lunch was it.

Was was there anything from Kurdistan that you wanted to bring with you?
Yeah, I was really want to take all of my friends come with me, but It can’t.

How did it make you feel at that time to leave your home, your country, and then come another country? How did you felt that time?
I feel sad when they were first trying to tell us we should go. I was really sad cause I was thinking I was going to miss my friends and then we would come here, feel happy and more happy and more happy and that’s just how it happened.

Hmmm Nice. OK, you told me about your journey hmmm. So. What do you think you are so like strong? What what makes us really a strong person?
If we be, if we wasn’t coming here, it would be I think it would make me happy and I could have like go run outside everywhere and we could be get more stronger and get more healthy stuff and keeping running with friends, having fun together and I don’t know what else would happen.

Ok, if you don’t have anything, I’m going to go have another question: before what happened in Kurdistan and then you left Kurdistan. What was your dream?
My dream was like, I want to go they have exciting time together. I have like a lot of friends and go outside together, but that will never happen.

That’s so sad. You’re going to make me cry. So when are you were leaving Kurdistan home? What was your dream for the future?
My dream.

For the future.

What you can see I dream to that.
My dream was ….

You can you can say I dreamed that dreamed for the past time.
I was like.

Can you say that word, I dreamed that
I dream that I dreamed that…. And I was like.

For example, when I left Kurdistan and I came to here this country, you know, I dreamed that UK will help me so much for many things, you know, but I came and then I felt it was so difficult because I didn’t I didn’t have the same feeling that the dream that didn’t come true. For example, I start to miss my family so much. And then I had the like, so much difficulties. But but my dream was everything will become more more easier, you know. easier than Kurdistan. But it didn’t happen, you know, for me. So you probably have another dream when you get this whole journey to come to here. You probably dreamed that something like what was in your mind that this country will look like or what you live. What was your dream about this country?
My dream in this country, I was like, I was thinking like, if my dreams should come true, like we would get happy and excited and more meet peoples and more talking together. And more excited and come all together and having exciting time together and having a parties, like that’s what actually happened.

OK, what are your hopes and dreams for future?
Ahhh…..I’m not Sure. Uh, I don’t know what else.

You don’t remember your dream, for example, you actually told me yesterday you wanted to become a good dancer.
Like a dancer, like exciting dancer

So say my dream is…..
My dream is is like want, I want to be a dancer with a lot of, a lot of people being a dancer with me and exciting dance time. Um, I am really excited to be we’re like altogether having a lot of dance time togethers, like really dance a lot, I was like can’t stop dancing when first time I come.

OK, I have a good question to you. Do you know what refugee means, being refugee means? What does it mean? Refugee. Do you know?

Do You know what is your title here?

You don’t know. OK, hmmm like a refugee means people who left their home country and then come to live another country.

And who who is like who left their country because of wars, because of difficulties, because they couldn’t survive to.. couldn’t do anything and then they come a new country and then they become refugees.

This is called refugee. So you think you are a refugee?

You are not refugee. Ok, who you are?
Uhh a girl, a person.

That’s perfect. This was amazing answer. OK, so if you think that so many people have to leave their country and come to live in another country so they are not belong to here, they are belong to other countries. What do you expect from European people who these countries people to treat these people? So how do you expect they treat you.
Uhmmm. I was like… When I was thinking, I was thinking about something and like I was thinking of the people that not come from here where I get more taller more bigger like when I was first coming I was like thinking about it. I think a people come here should help them share everything with them and have exciting time together all of them. They can talk English and have more fun together and meet more people and more peoples and have a lot of time together.

Oh, that’s amazing. anything you would like to add, because we are end up and we are going to finish our interview. Something that you wanted to add or tell the world people that how to treat people.
Oh Yeah

Do you have any message to the world?

You don’t have any message to the world? Why you don’t want to say anything to the world, like if if there was.
I do want to say something to the whole world, I want to say the whole world just stay safe together about this Coronavirus and if everyone should get coronovirus there’s no more people should live inside this world and we’re all going to get dead and then only 1 people or three people are gunna live.

OK, Thank you. that was really nice interview.

Many 1000 Dreams interviews were not conducted in English. Their translation has not always been performed by professional translators. Despite great efforts to ensure accuracy, there may be errors.