Humans of SPEAK: Meet Rabea

I was born in Syria and grew up in Homs city, a medium-sized city in the middle of Syria. I have one younger brother and my family is ordinary – it’s just like any other family around us. In general, life here is quite boring. You know exactly what to expect regarding what you are going to do next month because of the ongoing routine.

How does my life look like today?

Currently, I am still living in Syria but I expect to leave the country soon. In terms of languages, my English was at an A2 level. After joining SPEAK and meeting some amazing people my English has advanced and reached B2.

My biggest challenge in life is surviving in times of conflict and bombing, leaving the house and being a refugee for years, and dealing with racists and corruption all over the country.

I can say that there are some key moments that have shaped my life:

Everything that I have faced, every person I have met, has shaped my personality and the way I look at things. For instance, I used to hear about people being killed or arrested every day. It is part of our routine nowadays.

When I first left my house with my family, I felt very lost because we had nowhere to go and I was always thinking about the safety of my parents and my younger brother. Fortunately, we met some kind people, many of them are my friends, so they affected me in a positive way. They made me feel more optimistic that you will always meet nice people.

Something I have learned from my life experience is… 

You always have to have a plan B because you don`t know life, or where it will take you. Nothing is guaranteed except the passing of time. Always be open to meeting new people and avoid stereotyping as much as possible because every person is unique. I met amazing people through SPEAK and they have given me hope that there are always good people.

Moreover, I have also learned that when you are born in a warzone, you have to always stay away from any kind of involvement in conflicts. You can’t expect the consequences of your action and that is what I saw after observing a lot of people who take part in this endless fighting.

If I had to give advice based on what I’ve learned, it would be to have a vision for yourself and don’t give up on your goals.

In the near future, I see myself diving deeper into misery for a while. After that, I will start to make some accomplishments even though I believe the future is not as good as I imagine but I am optimistic for the long run.

Would you like to know more inspiring stories from migrants and locals like Rabea’s? Check out Roula’s Humans of SPEAK story, she is from Syria and is currently living in Portugal with her family.

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