“I was a university student and tried to preserve my personal documents such as my ID, secondary school certificate, student ID and the university papers I had before siege in order to continue my education when the conditions allow me to.
After being expelled to northern Syria, I started thinking of going to Turkey to resume my education. As I have heard, everything in Turkey works when documentations are available.
For example, I did not have a passport before siege and it was not available or possible to obtain one when we were under siege. In Turkey, obtaining a passport requires difficult and expensive procedures and because of my special condition being required for military service, it costs a fortune, so I forgot the idea.
Additionally, I have even inquired about the process of registration at universities. Before siege, I was a second year Commerce and Economics student; so, many papers are required to resume education, such as grades statement of previous years and the secondary school original certificate which is at the Ministry of Education. This is a problem for me as I only have a ratified copy of the certificate while the university requires the original hardboard certificate. Moreover, I have my student ID and the registration receipt but not the grades statement of previous years. Even resuming college education in northern Syria requires a grades statement of the subjects I have taken.
I could not obtain those papers and certificates when I was in Ghouta because of the siege forced upon the area, as I couldn’t leave towards my univercity. At that time, I asked people to obtain those papers for me from the regime-held areas but I was informed that it was difficult because I must make a power of attorney for someone through a notary public recognized by the regime. Then I needed to send it to a person in #Damascus to get my college grades statement on my behalf. Of course, such process might cause problems and might not work at all due to long years of dropout from college (Because of the siege) and also how can I make such an attorney while I am in the North where there is no notary public officially recognized by the Syrian regime?
Other people obtain their papers through brokers, and of course, nothing is for free! For instance, obtaining a grades statement alone would cost $700. This is a huge pressure on me as I am not settled here and have other priorities like the household expenses. I cannot afford such large amounts only to obtain such papers!
Such issues hamper my new start and add to my existing problems; while in other conditions and other places, such issues are very easy, simple and routine. However, in this case and in my condition, my life is pending now on obtaining a paper or a document that are basically my right!”
Photo by: Sameer Al-Doumy