Mayada Kharbotly

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I was afraid I would never have children. So, I was over the moon when I gave birth to my son Aziz. He is my greatest joy. I was married at 39 and pregnant after 10 months. In Syria the women are usually married at 20-22, 30 at the most. But I am rather special. I was engaged three times before I got married.

I decided myself because I was an adult. In my town and family, you decide for yourself. I’m from Baniyas, a small and very old town situated between the sea and the mountains. Here we say that people become more liberal by living close to the sea.

I was not in a relationship with any of my fiancés. We met up, had a coffee and talked about the future. One turned out to be a right skinflint, another one said that he was divorced, but it turned out he had a wife. Another one wanted me to move to the US where he lived, but I didn’t want to.

My mother pestered me about getting married, but I didn’t fancy it. Then Ibrahim came along. We sat together for an hour, then I said: If we are to get married, we will marry tomorrow. He said yes. It was like winning the lottery. He turned out to be a very good person. It was God’s will.

All my aspirations are directed towards my son – that he gets a good education and a good life. My mum and sister are still in Syria. I miss them a lot and would like to return. Here I am a foreigner, but I do what is best for my son, I stay where he stays.

54 / female / married / a child / studies 9th grade at VUC / Horsens / from Syria / family reunification in 2016