Abdul Rahman in his tailor shop at Sindos camp.
“I'm 45 but I feel like I'm at least 55 years old,” says Abdul Rahman. Life in refugee has taken its toll. “It's not good for the family, not good for health, we don't have good food, everything is dirty and we have no privacy,” he adds.
Abdul Rahman lives in the Sindos camp in northern Greece with his three sons; his only daughter still lives in Syria.
He has his own taylor workshop in the warehouse at Sindos and provides his services free of charge. “When someone asks who stitched this for you, just tell them a friend from Syria made it,” is his only request.
Although he doesn't earn money practicing his craft, Abdul Rahman is glad that he gets to work in his profession. “Now I'm people and working,” he explains. “I need to get out and do something. I've been working since I was 15, I can't stop now.”
The uncertainty of life as a refugee is affecting Abdul Rahman. He has not idea if and when he will be allowed to move on or where he will end up eventually. His hometown, Aleppo, is in ruins. “I would love to go back to Syria if there was peace,” he says. “But I can't. Everything is gone. No job, no house, it's all destroyed.”
Before coming to Greece, Abdul Rahman and his family moved from village to village in Syria to escape the violence, but the bombs followed. Eventually they ended up in Turkey.
“In Istanbul, I worked three different jobs but none of them paid me my full wages,” recalls Abdul Rahman. I was supposed to work 10 hours a day, but usually it was 14 or 15 hours. They just didn't pay me. They said 'go ahead, complain to the police. Nobody cares. If you don't like it, leave.'” So he and his family went to Greece, in the hopes that life would improve for them.
Now Abdul Rahman has been stuck in Greece waiting for eight months. “I don't care where I go from here,” he says. “I can start a new life anywhere. I only want a better future for my family.”