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April 17, 2016
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June 21, 2016

How I keep in touch with family in Syria

Hands holding a smartphone

القصة بالعربي


I cannot see my family in Syria much, because it is so hard to get to them. So we send each other pictures on WhatsApp. When I reach the office I send my mum a message.

My grandparents don’t leave the house much. They send us pictures, and we send our voices.

If I didn’t have my phone, I would feel like I was lost in the desert. I would feel like I was missing a piece of myself.

The rest of my family is abroad. It’s expensive to call the US. Without WhatsApp and Viber, I would have no way to communicate with them. I can’t remember the last time I used a landline.

If someone is a refugee, the thing he or she needs most is a smartphone. With that and an internet connection, you can know what is going on in the world. You can communicate with your family. I have friends who are refugees, and they lost connection because they didn’t have a smartphone. Their families thought they were dead.

One family member was on a boat, but it broke and he was thrown into the sea. He managed to contact someone. If he hadn’t, he’d be dead.


When you have a smartphone, the world is in your hands. You can study learn a new language, or see where you are on the map.

A lot of people who go to Germany know the route because of Google Maps. I have a lot of friends who planned the whole trip using it. One friend studied German while in the processing camp. Why wait one year until they let him learn? It is very important for them.

Smart Phone by Graeme PatersonCC by 2.0
looook what I got by Michal Hrabovec / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Told to: Julia Rampen
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القصة بالعربي

Is there something you love about Syria? A place your remember? A favourite food?


  1. Andrew says:

    Don’t lose it! In the fairy stories the hero is only too happy to have one bit of magic!

  2. Dima says:

    I can’t imagine my life without my phone too! My late evening chats, laughter and gossip with my girlfriends that I used to have in Damascus for nights in a row during university days are now evening chats on a WhatsApp Group that carries a cute girlie name! It connects us from 3 different continent, 5 countries including home, Syria.

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