Aseel’s mother left Syria first, together with two of Aseel's brothers, to bring the eldest to safety before he would be conscripted into the war. The family had been displaced within Syria for more than two years, and had temporarily sought safety in Lebanon, before trying to return home one last time. It would be many months before they’d finally reunite in Berlin.
“I stayed in Syria with my father and one brother, it was so difficult, and so sad, because we love my mother and my brothers, we missed them so much. Always, always, skype, every day. My little brother, when he came from school, first thing he’d go, ‘where is my mom, what did she do today, what did she cook?’ Lots of sadness, and lots of tears. But now in Berlin we are a little bit happy again, because there is no war, and no problems. And we have a residence permit: For three years.”