Maher Resho: A Syrian refugee in Denmark

Syrian Refugee: If you don’t want us in your country, do not support a war in ours

By Nour Qudeimat/

“If you don’t want refugees in your country, do not support the war in their countries,” says Maher Resho; a Syrian-Kurdish man in his early 20’s who fled war-torn Syria in search of peace, to end up in Denmark in January 2016.

Living in a two story home with 34 other refugees of different backgrounds, Maher says that he has to wait for three years to get asylum and stay in Denmark as a citizen.

When asked about his opinion on the Danish lawmakers voting in favour of sending  F-16 warplanes, a transport aircraft and 400 military personnel to expand the fight against ISIS in Syria and Iraq in the End of April, Maher said he understands the Europeans’ right to preserve their own country by not letting refugees in, but  finds it hypocritic to vote in support of war and then prevent refugees from coming into their country.

Maher, who refused to talk politics in an attempt to forget about the conflict that he fled, also pointed out that the home he currently lives in one of the ‘most expensive’ areas in the city. In addition, he gets a monthly salary, an insurance, attends intensive language classes and integration sessions, which he thought would be prettly costly for the Danish government.  

 “Instead of spending thousands of European money to help refugees, try to stop the war in their countries, or at least do not support it. Instead of holding internal meetings to talk about Syria, make safe places for the refugees in Syria or solve the problem.”

The house where Maher and 34 other refugees are staying

The house where Maher and 34 other refugees are staying

A long journey

Rashid Resho, 28,  Maher’s cousin who has been in denmark for one and a half years now, said he stayed in Turkey for two years before he decided to leave it in 2015 because he did not succeed to find a stability there. 

It was impossible to continue living in Syria. The war was eating up everything. Our homes, our work. It was also hard to live in Turkey. I did nothing but work and go home to sleep.”

From there, Rashid left to Algeria, then to Libya, then to Italy by sea, and finally to Denmark.

“We spent three days in the sea. There were 210 of us on a 13 Square meter boat. They stuffed us on the boat like we were pickles. On our trip, only one child died in the sea, which is a lucky number in comparison with other trips. A lot of people have died in the sea.”

Rashid says that arriving on a safe ground was a huge relief to him, since the refugees are really looking for safety and security over anything else.

 Rashid’s family is still shattered in different places. His father and sister have just arrived in Denmark but still live in camps and do not have residencies, while is mother and other siblings are in Istanbul and cannot cross to Denmark after the closure of Greece and Serbia. In addition, it would take a lot of money to smuggle them into Denmark.

Would you go back to Syria?

When asked if he would go back to Syria if he got the chance, Rashid and Maher said  that they would go back to Syria immediately, if the war ends.  Even despite the hopes that the situation in Syria would become better, both said that they believe that any kind of peace is still “far out of reach at the moment” in Syria.

Denmark, that is known for being one of the top welfare countries in the world, was said to have taken “a nasty turn on refugees” as described by the Washington post.

This includes a bill that was sharply criticized by the international community in January 2016, when Denmark proposed a bill that would confiscate refugees’ valuables. However, the plan was not carried out