This is
Arabi Ghibeh (1991) 

Country of Origin

In the Netherlands since


His mom, family and job 

First impression
The European society, which is very different in Syria

Still would like to
Study at the acting- or theatreschool 

“I came to Amsterdam six months ago. I am a refugee and like so many of us I came via boat to Greece and then moved on to Amsterdam. My family are still in Syria. I had to join the army there and didn’t want to. I don’t want to kill anyone.

I was an actor in Syria. I was a student at the arts academy and had played parts in TV series and films. I had a normal life, just like anyone else. Now you could say that I am playing a part; my real life is more like a part in a bad film. But I don’t want to look at it that way. I want to look forward to my future, and what I can do here. I have no future in Syria.

I miss nothing about Syria. Except my family - I miss them terribly. My family is really special. I haven’t seen them in eight months. My mother cried when I told her I was going to leave. But she’s happy for me at the same time, because she really doesn’t want me to join the army. She can see me on Skype now, and knows I’m OK. My father didn’t want me to leave. But now he tells me, “Thank God you’re there, and not in Syria”.

I live in a refugee centre near to Bijmer station. I don’t feel uncomfortable in Amsterdam. People tell me, “Welcome”. Amsterdam is a good city. The people are great. A lot of them help me, and teach me Dutch.

I’m hoping I can get a residence permit so that I can stay here. I have to go to another refugee centre next week. My hands are tied. I’m not allowed to do anything except wait. But I hope my work as an actor means I can stay in Amsterdam. There are many opportunities for actors here. I have a dream to chase - Hollywood. I can’t live without goals. Everyone needs a goal in life.”

397 people in Amsterdam have the Syrian nationality


Discover other stories