â€œI have always loved getting to know different kinds of people, cultures, and languages from all over the world. Thanks to my job at a hotel in Tunisia, I speak many languages: Arabic, French, English, Italian, Russian, Greek and a little bit of Spanish and Albanian.
When I was still living in Tunisia with my mother, ISIS terrorists repeatedly approached me because they wanted me to work for them as a translator. When I refused, they tried to scare me into doing it: They sent me a letter, which said that they would not stop hurting me and eventually kill me unless I did what they wanted. I was very scared and knew I had to leave the country. I would not work for people who kill others.
One year ago, my father got shot in the leg in Syria, so I traveled there to take care of him. I knew I couldnâ€™t stay in Syria for long because it was too dangerous, but I also couldnâ€™t go back to Tunisia because ISIS has ways of knowing how to find people. So, I decided to go to Europe.
I arrived in Vienna nine days ago. After the exhausting walk from Hungary, mostly carrying a child on my shoulders, I had problems with my feet and got treated by a doctor at a railway station in Vienna. After the first night, the organisation that treated me didnâ€™t have spare beds any more, so I spent the night at the station. I had been planning to go to Italy from Austria because some relatives live there, but I had already run out of money. So, I decided to make the best of my time and translated for other refugees. I helped people from Afghanistan, Syria, and other countries to find their way around the platforms. And then she found me.
An Austrian girl walked over to me and asked: â€˜What are you doing?â€™
â€˜Helpingâ€™, I said.
â€˜But you need help yourself!â€™
This is how I met Hanna. I immediately felt that she is a good person, and I explained my situation to her. She didnâ€™t want me to sleep outside again and brought me to her apartment, where she and her roommates let me stay in their living room. I couldnâ€™t believe my luck that I had run into a person with such a big heart.
I have been living with Hanna ever since. She is kind and funny and even though she has to study and work, she always thinks about my problems. When I decided to stay in Austria, she took me to the police in Vienna to get registered. When they arrested me immediately and treated me unfairly for two days, she took me to an organisation that helped me defend my rights. One time, Hanna spent six hours in a waiting room with me until my number came up. Another time, we visited her boyfriendâ€™s family and everybody was incredibly nice to me. Iâ€™ve met many people in Austria who just take others as they are and help them, regardless of their religion, financial status, or looks. This is something that touches my heart. I am so very lucky.
The only thing missing now is a job. Not being able to do something and depending on other peopleâ€™s help is hard. I want to give back and to build a new life in Austria. I am young and qualified and hope I can start working soon. But for now, I am glad to be here. Sometimes when I wake up in the morning in Hannaâ€™s apartment, I donâ€™t believe my luck. Then I slowly open my eyes and think: â€˜Yeah, I am alive. I am in Austria.â€™â€