‘I lived in Dahar El Aaoua, Syria, where I owned my own house and ran my own locksmith’s business.  My house and shops were both bombed, and I lost everything, everything I had worked 18 years for.

I took my family to Jordan because I wanted my wife and children to have a future.  I wanted my family to be safe.  We stayed in a refugee camp in Jordan.  My eldest son became very depressed; he didn’t like life there.  He met some other young people who were going to seek asylum in Europe and went with them to Germany.  Shortly after he left, the UN said they had the papers ready for us to come to the UK.  My wife is very sad that he is not with us, sometimes she cries at night.

I am now at college studying English.  I like to study.  I am the kind of person who wants to work and want to be independent.  Learning the language also helps me to understand the culture.

It is difficult in the beginning, you are in a new country and you don’t know the language or the people, it is like being blind.  But I am here and I am making a big effort to learn the language and the culture.’

Sometimes I think of my life back home; my house, my street, my friends and I get very sad.  I am happy to be in England. I want to study and to work.  I am a curious person, and I want to learn lots of things. My dream is for my children to succeed and to have a future.