“In the summer of 2020, one day my mom and sisters came home to vulgar death threats written on our house door. Ever since this event, my sisters were terrified to leave the safety of our home. They lived through constant fear of losing their lives every single day. Unfortunately, my family members were not able to escape Syria right away because of the borders being closed due to Covid at the time. However, as soon as the borders opened, they managed to escape Syria.
For several reasons, life in Syria has become extremely dangerous for my family. For the safety of my endangered family, I am unable to disclose some of the other threats that my sisters and I have faced because often you face additional hardships, including the risks of violence, discrimination, imprisonment, death, and torture, either in Syria, or in the countries to which they have fled.
We are Ismailis. In Syria, Ismaili are a vulnerable religious minority and considered as perpetual foreigners. Due to the Ismaili playing a big role in the Syrian uprising against Assad since the early stages of the war, they constantly face persecution and experience repeated violence and abuse by the government and various extremist groups who attempt to prevent us from practicing our beliefs. Some of our relatives have escaped, others have died.
My family is known for being liberals and unsupportive of the Al- Assad regime (who won the most recent election in May 2021), which puts my family in significant risks, especially because my sisters have worked with international humanitarian organizations which strive to support minorities, children and women. Recently many of my sisters’ peers have been jailed, tortured, raped and killed simply because of their humanitarian work during this immoral and barbaric war.”