“Now I feel strong, very strong! I have my freedom, my friends, my life!”

Nadwa is 31 years old and comes from Aleppo, Syria. The last years she has been working as a cultural mediator for Arabic, at the *ESTIA program, implemented by SolidarityNow, in Thessaloniki. Nadwa is a calm and cheerful person, very dear to her colleagues. In her spare time, she enjoys walking around the city, spending time with friends and reading.

She came to SolidarityNow’s Thessaloniki Solidarity Center to seek help. Her main skill was her good knowledge of English, a very important asset. Coming to the Center she met Ioanna Fourkiotou, Regional Director of SolidarityNow – Northern Greece, who offered her a place to work. “I had never thought of working, because I had never worked in my life before. To be honest, it seemed to me as a game, I didn’t know anything, but I said let’s try… and now I like it!”

Nadwa says her life has changed radically since she found a job because it offered her the stability she was looking for. “Day by day my life was getting better; I felt happy, I was waiting for the morning to come!”. Nadwa loves life in Greece and wants to live here. She talks to us with joy about her new apartment and about feeling independent. In Syria, she felt trapped by the restrictions which women face. “I have many friends here; I feel independent and I still can’t believe how different my life is. Now I feel strong, very strong! I have my freedom, my friends, my life!”. She adds that her point of view for women and female nature have changed radically.

Nadwa believes that Greece and Syria have many similarities. “Greeks look like Syrians and the weather is the same. Greece is now my country,” she points out. With a huge smile she tells us that she feels fully integrated and is looking forward to living new experiences. “There is nothing like Greece!” she tells us in fluent Greek. Her future-plan is to improve her Greek and go to the University.


* ESTIA – the Emergency Support to Integration and Accommodation program, is implemented by UNHCR and funded by the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund of the European Union.