In 2014, Sawsan Ghazal was one of 30,583 Syrians applying for asylum in Sweden. The Los Angeles Times accounts her personal journey, from a once successful dressmaker in Aleppo (she co-owned a dress factory with her husband) to the decision to leave her home-country, after the horrific 2013 bombing at Aleppo University where her son went to school (he survived the attack though psychologically suffered).
The family tried to re-settle in Turkey but couldn’t find work and ultimately Ms. Ghazal had to make the painful decision to try to relocate to Sweden, leaving her family behind during the long transition to process their cases.
“Sweden. Of all the places they might try to reach, it seemed the most hopeful — a stable government, big northern forests, human rights. That was its image, at least. It was granting Syrians automatic asylum, teaching them Swedish,” pens reporter Christopher Goffard.
“Often, she and her husband talk about what they will do when they are reunited in Sweden. They talk about opening a shop together. Importing clothes from Turkey, and handbags from Italy. She tells him he will have a chance again to be the man he once was,” continues Goffard.