YALLA SOURIYA

Nada struggles to sleep amid the rapid and consistent blasts of artillery shelling and gunfire, a noise that has become commonplace in her Damascus neighborhood. She compares her life to Afaff’s, a friend who just called her a month after being smuggled into Holland.

“Why Holland?” Nada asks her friend. “Were you heading to Sweden?”

Afaff tells her it was easier to reach Holland. “The phone disconnected, reminding me that I was in Damascus where everything is inadequate,” Nada quips.

Her cell phone beeps again. There is a message from Afaff: “My trafficker advised that it would be better to change my destination to Holland where my family can join me easily.”

Holland may be an odd destination for a Syrian asylum-seeker, but for Afaff, the story is different. She found work with a Syrian-Dutch family that had migrated over four decades ago. Afaff feels at home with them and…

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