Issam’s Story

by: Issam, a Syrian refugee

Hello, my name is Issam and I am recognized as a refugee in Belgium. I am from Syria and I fled my country because of the war. I am married and I have 2 children. I was chef in pastry in Syria and Turkey. My wife took care of the children and also was studying at university.

I left my country in July 2015. My children were 3 years and 5 years old. I went to Turkey and took the boat to Europe. I went through the Balkan countries before arriving in Belgium on 25/08/2015. I applied for asylum on 09/2015 and it was accepted on 04/01/2016.

In October 2016, I went to Caritas to start a family reunification procedure. It took a lot of time before we introduced the file because it costs money and we must prepare a lot of papers. I got into debt for my family to go to Lebanon to file the file of family reunification because there is no more embassy of Belgium in Syria.

In January we introduced the file and in April 2017 my family had a visa agreement. I started thinking about a solution for tickets but I did not have a lot of money.  My income was low.

Then Caritas told me about Miles for Migrants. A donor of miles called Sarah booked plane tickets for my family. After almost 2 years, I could see my wife and my 2 children on June 3, 2017. I was the happiest man in the world when I saw my family.

I am very grateful to Sarah, Miles for Migrants and Caritas who accompanied me in this long process.

Thank you! Thank You! Thank you!