Waleed talks to Waleed

Let’s begin: Who are you?

My name is Waleed Elias, I come from Syria, from Homs more precisely. I am married and I have a daughter…

How long have you been in Belgium?

It's been a year and three months.

I heard your trip to Belgium was difficult, what happened?

I came by sea. Between Greece and Turkey, the engine stopped. It was a very dangerous situation, the waves were enormous and water got into the engine. We stopped moving. It felt like time had stood still. As if I was before God. I was very scared. I thought I was going to die. I didn’t cry, but my heart filled up with tears as I said to myself: "God, I have a little girl, protect her." I thank God for keeping me alive.

I also heard that you like this place – the Josefa House. Can you tell us more?

Indeed, I love this place! A strange link binds me, I don’t know what exactly, maybe a family tie. It’s not just a refuge, it’s a large and calm place where I feel at peace, among family. It has a particular flavour and colour, and it is full of creative vibes.

Tell me about your future.

I would first like to improve my French. Then, I would like to build a suitable future for my family. I will not forget Josefa, I would like this project to continue and I would like to contribute to it.

How do you feel now that you have been reunited with your family?

I am very happy that my wife and daughter have finally arrived. It’s been a long wait! Thank you to all those who helped us.

Do you wish to add anything?

Yes, I would like to thank Gilbert and Annabelle for all they have done. They are really good people. I would also like to thank Guillaume and Laetitia: "you are great". And of course, I will not forget the Carmel and all those who are part of Josefa: you have my respect and my gratitude.