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Today we start a wonderful new series on Newry.ie in conjunction with the Community Relations Council "A Teenagers Perspective - From Syria to Newry and Everything in Between"

We will dip into the experiences of 15 year old Inas Abdulrazzaq who was born in Syria but has spent a significant portion of her young life here in Newry. We find It is always useful to look at life from someone elses perspective!

We begin with her talking about her home town.

Inas

Aleppo

Aleppo is a city in northwestern Syria which lies about 30 miles south of Syria’s border with Turkey, it was my hometown.

Before the war, it was absolutely beautiful with so much life in it, all u had to do was open your window and look down and see crowds of people with a lot of noise.

it was a big difference when I moved to Newry because even if you were to go to the city centre you’ll barely see much going on. In 2010 Allepo had a population of 4.6 million which is 4 times more people than Northern Ireland’s population combined!

In Syria, Aleppo is known for “the city that doesn’t sleep” that’s because you will see people at 3 am doing their shopping and day to day things, they love staying up.

It is obviously a very warm country as it’s located in the Middle East of Asia with the normal of 50 degrees nowadays.

Inas in Allepo.

The President is called Bashar al Assad, he is hugely disliked by the population long before the war. Many people protested to kick him out, I’ve witnessed many protests but that actually resulted in the war, which you’ll hear about later on. You don’t have the right to vote who you want as the President it’s more like an heir like a King and Queen of England. No one can choose who they would like as it’s whoever is next in the blood line that takes over, Bashar's dad died there so he became President.

Aleppo. Photograph: Syrian Ali/ Wikimedia Commons

As you may or may not know although majority of the population was Muslim there was a number of Christians too, and there would be so many things going on during Christmas.

Aleppo is known for its soap and pistachios nuts, which are sold around the world. Silk weaving, textiles, and pharmaceuticals once made up a significant portion of Aleppo’s economy.

“Where do you feel at home?” Or “would you consider yourself Irish or Syrian” is a question I get a lot and the answer to that is neither! I don’t think I’m Irish as I have a completely different culture and religion than everyone around me but at the same time I don’t feel Syrian because I moved out at 6 years of age and if I were to go back now I wouldn’t feel at home as I grew up here, I wouldn’t feel at home as I don’t have any friends there and It wouldn’t feel like home.

I don’t feel like I fit in in any country , that’s the only downside of it.

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