About Refugees, By Refugees

Hala Alnoufi

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United Kingdom

Syria

Syrian

Alaa Alsewid

I wish that every country doesn’t have war and I want peace because I like peace,” says Hala (11), who left her home in Syria with her mother and two sisters, because of her country’s “mean president.” They are now refugees living in London. Hala goes to school, which she says brings her joy. However, the Covid-19 pandemic has meant she hasn’t been able to see her friends. “We’re missing like a lot of learning in the lockdown.” She likes London, but also finds it messy because of the rubbish. “Every time I walk home, you know, from school, I’m really tired and I just see trash. I’m like, I’m just so tired. I just can’t, I just can’t pick it up right now.” Hala has many dreams for the future: “I wish to, like, the Earth be better. I, like, more taken care of.” She adds, “I wish there was, like, kind presidents instead of that president in Syria who is, like, very, very mean… I also want people to, like, save the world.”

Trigger Warning:

full interview

Who do you live with?
I live with my mom and my sisters which are named Louna and Leia. And how do you spend your time in London? I go to school. I have to have family time where we either play games with, like, a whole family or watch a movie like the whole family. I do homework. I go to school. If I have repeated that again, I play on my iPad because that’s what I like to do. And I color.

That’s nice. So what are some of the things that bring you joy?
Doing some fun things at school. Being with my mom. Having fun.

OK, um, so what is good about living in London and what is bad?
Oh, it is amazing. I love London. There are so many nice places. The houses are nice and I don’t know why, but some people say they don’t like London because it’s nasty. Well, kind of have to agree with that. I don’t like it because it’s a bit too messy, but well it’s not really messy and I don’t really like how people just like throw – you know, every time I walk home, you know, from school, I’m really tired and I just see trash. I’m like, I’m just so tired. I just can’t, I just can’t pick it up right now. I’m going to faint.

OK, um, can you describe how has COVD-19 affected your term in daily life and mood and feeling?
Oh yes. OK, there are some good things which affected me and there’s some bad things which affected me. The good things are in primary school. When I was in year six, I get to skip stats because we well, even because I didn’t do it because of COVID and, the bad thing, though, is that I cannot see my friends often and we’re missing like a lot of learning in the lockdown.

OK, um, do you know why did you leave your country?
I think I know a bit of it. It’s because, like, I feel like I mean president.

Ok?
He likes like to kill people, I guess.

Um, what are your hopes and dreams for the future?
Well, I OK, I have a lot of dreams for the future. I wish to like the Earth be better. I like more taken care of and I wish that every country like doesn’t have war and I want peace because I like peace and I wish there was like kind presidents instead of that president in Syria who is like very, very mean. He like I think one time he killed a kid. I also want people to like, save the world, even if I just said that.

That’s an amazing dream, so thank you.

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.