Hiba Dlewati

Asylum Seekers Stranded in Swedish Bureaucracy

Malmö, Sweden — Imad Al-Tamimi teaches Swedish in the same classrooms he wasn’t allowed to attend as a student. “It’s a paradox,” says the 32-year-old teacher. “I can walk into the new arrival’s language course, but only as ...

Catering to a Diaspora: Syrians Bring Flavor of Home to Sweden

Malmö, Sweden — “Food may be able to bring us together,” said Yousef Awad. “We have different opinions, but we can agree on a Syrian dish.” Awad is the manager of Tanoor, a recently opened Syrian restaurant in Malmö. The 38-year-old ...

“We’re all scattered now”

Kristianstad, Sweden — He waves as I get off the train, red gym bag slung over his shoulder. It’s Jamal, one of the Syrians who inspired this trip through Jordan, Turkey, and Sweden. We’d met on a former detainees’ ...

Trapped in Greece: “Syria’s war has walked with us”

“We don’t know our destiny,” said Um Safwan, trying to speak to me through the barbed wire fence of Moria detention center. The 48-year-old mother is one of thousands trapped in the detention center – formerly used as a refugee ...

Pushed Across The Border: When Europe Is Not a Choice

Jordan — She was one of the first welcoming faces I met in Jordan, and the only familiar one. We had met five years ago in Damascus, on the streets of what was then a peaceful uprising against the Assad regime. ...

For Syrians, There Is No Such Thing as an Open Border

Kilis, Izmir – Turkey —  “I am suffocating.” It’s the sentence I hear the most when interviewing Syrians. Traveling throughout several Turkish cities in the past few weeks, it is now visibly clear that the noose is indeed tightening on Syrians ...

He Bought Them Lunch. They Learned How To Read.

Reyhanli, Turkey — Early in the morning and late at night, sounds of shelling from across the mountain disrupt the seemingly tranquil border town. “If you’d been here a few nights earlier, when the Russians were bombing, you would have ...

Why Are Syrian Aid Workers Leaving for Europe?

Gaziantep, Turkey — Frustration. In a city that has become known for its dynamic activist community, weariness is starting to show in a network that has been stretched by donor fatigue, occupational burnout, and the opportunity of starting over far away. ...

For Syrians, Turkey Can Be a Station, or Home

Turkey–I can’t help but smile when the plane lands in Istanbul. I have a layover before heading south to Gaziantep, and one of the first things I always do is go to my favorite Syrian restaurant in Taksim. ...

Syrian Refugees Face a Medical Crisis in Jordan

Amman, Jordan — Most of the doctors have started to go home, so we find an empty hospital staff room to sit down. Coffee or tea? Dr. Mohammad* closes the door behind us. The 40-year-old orthopedic surgeon is one of many ...

Verses in Exile: Syrian Rapper Turns War Into Art

Amman, Jordan — “War changes things—your mentality, the way you think, it can mess with your head,” says Mouneer Bu Kolthoum, leaning back into a black leather chair at his home office. “Subconsciously you are hit, and your mind starts ...

“To Ask For Bread? No One Should Have To Do That.”

Amman, Jordan — The aroma of fresh bread wafts out of the bustling Al-Houri Bakery in the Tabarbour neighborhood of Amman. Established in 1991, the bakery is one of largest in the neighborhood, and is recognized for its traditional Syrian pastries. Ibrahim ...

Syrian Refugees Publish Their Own Magazine

Zaatari Camp, Jordan — “We know the camp’s problems because we live here,” says 19-year-old Mohamad Heraki, outside of a tent hosting a photography workshop. Heraki is part of a growing team of journalists based in the Zaatari refugee camp ...

For This Jordanian Family, Refugees Are Always Welcome

Zaatari, Jordan –It is not unusual for Tomaa Al-Khaldi to host guests without an appointment. If anything, it has become a way of life for the 58-year-old father and bakery-owner of Zaatari village. Located in Jordan’s northern Mafraq province, ...

Grieving Father Grows Hope in Zaatari Garden

Zaatari Camp, Jordan — Mohammad Al-Hariri ushers me into his small convenience store, adjusting his hearing aid. “It’s too loud out there,” he says, nodding at the children running out of the school gates near by. The trailer turned store ...