By Niran Altahhan.

I am one of the people who came to the UK under the Government scheme to resettle twenty thousands Syrian refugees in 2016.

I am from Damascus-Syria and we are victims of the parties to the conflict that broke out in Syria.

We were forced to flee to one of the neighbouring countries.

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We were all agreed that the war would be short and we would come back soon and very soon when the war ended, so we had to choose a neighbouring country to avoid encountering the difficulty and the burden and costs of long stay.

Jordan is a country where we had many friends, and this would relieve the very worst of the alienation and state of sadness and frustration which we would live in.

What’s more, being a nearby country we thought it would be no more than three-hours journey if we decided to go back to Syria by car, but in the end the land road was not passable because of armed clashes.

Oxford Mail:

Syrian protestors in Damascus demonstrate against the Government. Picture: Omar Haj Kadour/afp/Getty Images.

When we left, the only safe road out of the country was from Damascus to Beirut airport, and this is the one we took.

We packed our luggage taking only the essentials.

The taxi came early in the to pick us up and take us from Damascus to Beirut.

We got in the car and drove off.

Our eyes were looking at everything: people, parks, streets and all details, as if we were seeing them for the last time, despite our conviction that we would not be away for long.

In Jordan we entered into a spiral of uncertainty and anticipation: are we really refugees? Are we in the alternative to our country? What is the real future potential for us in this country?

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Everyone called us 'guests', and we realised that we would never be part of their society.

As is the custom, the guest remains restricted, with limited movement, no rights, rights to earn a living, even no right of expression.

Life was a diktat imposed upon us by the host in that country and if they wanted to, they could tell us that they had nothing to offer us and that we could either put up with these conditions or 'go back where you came from'.

They were indifferent to what awaited us.

Compared to millions of Syrians, our journey was less risky than that of others who have faced all kinds of death on land and sea, and those who have stayed in the camps and faced freezing and being deprived of the most basic elements of human life.

Oxford Mail:

There are approximately five million Syrian children who are not receiving any education.

The news of acceptance of our request to live in United Kingdom, therefore, felt like being sent to a new life.

My mother and I were welcomed and received a great help from Oxford City Council, Asylum Welcome and Connection Support.

I was worried about how could I start my life in this strange country, but we served faithfully to be able to manage our daily life and to integrate quickly, but these agencies made everything very easy for us.

Without their help I do not know what situation we would be in.

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It is very difficult for anyone to move to a country other than their own.

It is a big challenge to start life from scratch in difficult circumstances.

Everything is new – language, culture, education and the country system in general.

I’m working hard to rebuild my new life in the UK and to be part of this lovely society.

I started with Connection Support, my mother and I were their clients.

When they noticed that I can speak a little English, they asked me to work with them as a volunteer to help and support the families under their care.

I am very grateful that they trusted me to do this. I have learned a lot about how public services work in the UK, and my English language also improved as a result of the work.

Then they introduced me to the Multaka Project which is related to the Pitt Rivers Museum and History of Science Museum to volunteer as an event planner.

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At the museums I really worked with love and pride because I was able to present our Syrian culture and civilisation and to let people in Oxford know more about our individual backgrounds.

It is indeed a great opportunity for us to talk about our civilisations in these great historical places.

I think it is hard to find words that describe Oxford.

Four years later I can still remember the first face I met, the first place I went and the first smile I got.

I always have the first thing to get or to give in Oxford – it is exactly like a real love story between us.

I am always thinking of how can I give back to this lovely city which became my second home.

I could say that I can not imagine my self live anywhere except Oxford.

I am working hard to build my new life, and I wish all the best to this lovely country which has become my second home.