Making Home Away

So I sat them down and told them: the five of us are here, me, you and your father, wherever the five of us are, that place should be your heaven.
Discover their stories


Current 'Home' Windsor, Ontario, Canada

A young father of two boys, who spent six years working in Dubai as a car parts salesman, outlines his reasons for moving to Canada:

"Once you live in Dubai, you will start to think about leaving because you don't have permanent residency (there). You're always worried that political tensions between Syria and the UAE will worsen, and lead to you getting kicked out. The worrying is multiplied when you have a family. You have to keep in mind that as a married man my goal is my family's well-being and security. In Dubai, those things are present, but you never know when these privileges are (going to be) taken away from you. You never know when they will decide not to renew your Visa. Keep in mind it's only a three-year visa.  As people without a place to go back to, it's dangerous to risk it, living (there) and having no place to go back to."

This photo of a street scene in Dubai, by Samuel Yoo is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Many Syrians who had travelled for work found themselves in extremely precarious situations once the conflict in Syria prevented them from returning home.  For a more detailed look at the history of Syrian travel and work within the Gulf, click here.


This extract is from an interview conducted by SUZAN ILCAN during 2019 as part of the British Academy funded ‘Lost and Found: A Digital Archive of Migration, Displacement and Resettlement’  project’s Making Home Away archive.