Shrivan is the youngest member of his family, he is a dreamer and a self-proclaimed computer geek. He was fourteen years old when we met him. Missing school is his biggest pain and motivation in life. He was forced to flee his neighborhood, Sheikh Maqsoud, after the Free Syrian Army entered it, followed by the Syrian military. The family tried to escape to his grandparents house for a night, “we left only with the clothes we had on, we didn’t even pack anything,” Shrivan told us. But, a bomb hit his grandparents house, all roads were blocked, and Aleppo was officially besieged. Shrivan explained that there was a sniper on a nearby rooftop, so the family had to flee to a close village. Now, Shrivan is in Turkey working and unable to attend school. “After we got here, I started working… Just a week later,” he said. Shrivan describes his school days back in Aleppo with deep sorrow and teary eyes, “our class was better than all of the other classes… We were the best students with the highest grades… Now I cut fabric in a factory.” Shrivan works six days a week, up to 12 hours a day. He only makes 120 Turkish Liras a week, the equivalence of 41.00 USD. Shrivan’s dream is to become an English teacher, he wants to learn English so he could travel the world. “I go to work everyday… I wake up in the morning, and go to work… I come back home in the evening, I sleep only to wake up and go to work again… That’s how it is here.”
In March 2016, Shrivan was planning to cross the Mediterranean Sea on an inflatable boat just to go to school in Germany, following the footsteps of thousands of Syrian refugees and putting his own life at risk. With the support wonderful people, Shrivan was able to enroll in school in Turkey. He finished 10th grade in 2017.