I am Lamis
I cannot go to school because I do not have an ID
I like to play with hair and would like to be a hairdresser, Lamis, a 10-year-old girl, says.
I came to Turkey with my mom, grandmother and relatives; the way we came through was harsh. My father left us when I was 3 years, so I do not like him but I love my mom, Lamis adds.
Life is hard in Tukey. When we came in the first time to Turkey, from Syria’s Aleppo, we got refuge’s IDs but life was not easy for us, so we decided to go back to Syria. Hence, we were required to give the authorities in Turkey our refuge’s IDs. However, life in Syria was not better and we could not bear it so we came back to Turkey illegally, Lamis’ grandmother says.
Lamis’ father left her and mother when the girl was little before the war in Syria. He, then, disappeared and we do not know about him now. Some people told us that he got married and moved to Turkey, the grandmother says.
Lamis’ mother is a breadwinner of the family. She bears the brunt of hard work conditions so to make a living for her daughter, the grandmother adds.
Lamis was sad on the day she told her story as her uncle had left to Syria. She has cousins to play with and that was a comfort for her.
I also cannot go to school because I do not have an ID, Lamis’ cousin Rafif, a 10-year-old girl, says.
I love to go to school and I would like to be a doctor so to treat children. I remember passing through hills when we came to Turkey. I like to have my own room. I can be afraid of darkness, Rafif adds.
Rafif’s father, who is Lamis’ uncle, just had left to Syria because he could not get refugee ID again and life has been unbearable for him in Turkey. However, he did not want to risk the lives of his children and family again so he left them in Turkey.
Rafif’s mother works in a kindergarten close to her home which offers a shelter for the family and relatives.
Rafif’s sister Waffa, 7 years, wants to be a teacher so to teach children how to read and write.
The children have hard memories from Syria and unpleasant living conditions in Turkey. Dire life, they are forced to live, impacts their innocence and steals their right to live a decent or happy childhood. Though, they dream for a better future.
Interviewed by and photos credit: Sami Karaali