“Ask her whatever you want! She is Google!”; with this incitement to address encyclopedic questions to his 8-year old daughter, we started our conversation with Alaa Touisan, 41 years old Iraqi refugee.
But we hesitated at the beginning; Therefore, Alaa started asking:
- What is the capital of Indonesia?
- When was, the Berlin demolished?
- In 1988
- Who wrote Hamlet?
The 8-year old Rania replies to the questions with the maturity of an adult and of course, she wins besides the applause and our unlimited admiration. Rania is a little girl whose only window to the world and information was and still is the internet, through which she managed to gain so much knowledge; Rania did not have the chance to attend school ordinarily in her country due to the prosecutions by ISIS.
Certainly, her parents, Alaa, expert computer analyst and Nadia, professor of English, contributed decisively to the intellectual development and education of their daughter.
Today Alaa, Nadia and their two daughters, the 8-year old Rania – their “wise child”- and the 6-year old Lanya have gone away from threats against their lives, intimidations, and constant persecutions; they do not fear for their lives any longer. They were forced to leave Iraq, their country, when the ISIS “destroyed my work and my life“, Alaa says. As a small company owner, trading laboratory equipment and computers, Alaa was cooperating with the state and had public work contracts. This was enough to be prosecuted as well as to be threatened for his life and his family life. He initially fled to Jordan, where he stayed for a short period, before making the decision to come to Greece dreaming to go further to Europe.
“We left with $5,000 and we thought that we would be able to go somewhere safely; this was my priority – to find a shelter for my family where we would feel safe. Thus, my children would continue their school and I would find my way to start a job“.
Alaa and his family arrived to Greece risking their lives. But finally, they arrived and now they feel safe at home that has opened to accommodate them in the framework of the SolidarityNow hosting and accommodation program Home for Hope. “We have a home that we feel it like our home; we are grateful to those people who offered it to us, although we know that we will not stay in Greece forever. Our asylum application has already been approved and we will soon leave for Ireland. However, we will never forget this feeling of solidarity we felt here”, Alaa says.
Alaa, like many of his countrymen who were obliged to leave their country because of threats and persecutions, dreams living in a safe place; a safe place for him and his family. A place where children are free to live their childhood. Α place where human life has its indisputable value and human rights apply to everyone.
*Today, Alaa and his family have already been relocated to Ireland and try to begin their life from the scratch.