Polaroid Stories: From Damascus, permanently in Athens

Valia Savvidou

Little Haneen will live in Greece and she will become an ophthalmologist

When I grow up I will become an ophthalmologist!”

And we not only wish it to the 12-year-old Haneen but through the learning of the Greek language and the other implemented activities we are trying to support her to make the dream come true!

All these are happening in the SolidarityNow accommodation structure in Peania, where Haneen lives with her family – her father Aiham, her mother Asmaa and her three younger sisters, Halaa, Sam and Nour. This six-member family has decided to stay in Greece.

They have come from Damascus, making the same trip with many other compatriots of theirs. A journey for which they don’t want to talk about. They prefer to answer the question of whether they like Greece and they like it “very much“, as they say with enthusiasm!

The children go to school while all of them attend the Greek lessons; they want to learn how to communicate with the Greeks – “we will live with them!”, they say. Asmaa is certain that Haneen will become an ophthalmologist. How is she so confident? She is the one who gives the answer: “I will help her! She will become what she wants!”, says with a loud voice.

Everything will be done – they will learn the Greek language, they will find work, the children will follow their dreams and all of these because they want it very much and our teams will stand by their side.

*Haneen’s family is hosted in the organization’s accommodation structure in Paiania operated under the ESTIA, the Emergency Support to Integration and Accommodation programme, implemented by the UNHCR and funded by the European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO).