Home is where my family is

UK for UNHCR Trainee, Deema, reflects on what home means to her for Gallery of the (New) Home.


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This Refugee Week we’re exploring what home means to different people. Everyone has a sense of what home means to them, whether it’s a place, an object or a person. We’re asking refugees and their friends, families and supporters to come together and share #WhatHomeMeans.     

Deema, a Syrian refugee in the UK, discusses the many meanings of home to her and the importance of everyone having a right to the comfort provided by home.  

Home is where my family is. It is my husband, our three beautiful daughters, and the memories, houses and experiences we’ve shared. Home is my parents and my siblings, who I have finally been reunited with after years apart.   

Home is my beloved house in Aleppo, where I’ve had my happiest memories. Home is the beautiful land that is Syria, where I feel like I belong. Home is where I’m happy.  

Deema with her parents and two daughters in Syria

Home, as the physical place I live, has changed many times over the years. It was Aleppo, Syria, until the bombings, killings and destruction made it too unsafe. Then it was Gaziantep, Turkey, until the racism, discrimination and obstacles to our residency made it too difficult to live there. Now it is London, where I am able to build a better life for my family.  

This Refugee Week, it is important to remember the millions of people around the world who have been forced to leave and rebuild their homes.  

Most refugees incur rough circumstances from the moment they are forced to leave their homes. It’s not their decision, so they mostly are not prepared for it.  

They are in constant fear of the upcoming unexpected future, where they have to start their unsettled lives from scratch while caring for their own families, most of the time. Take me as an example, caring for my parents or other members of my extended family. 

This is why it’s so important to support refugees by all means. By donating, spreading awareness and standing against any unfair law that prevents them from seeking asylum in safe countries. By defending everyone’s right to have a home. 

Home is a place of comfort, family, joy and strength. My home has been the source of all my happiness, and this is why it is so important that every person has a place to call home.  

To read Deema’s full story, please visit our website here.

We’d love for you to share what home means to you. Our Gallery of the (New) Home is now open for submissions, please submit your image and story via our website here   

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