Syrian Refugee Asmaa Anfashtaki with her 5 month old son Nabil
A new mum, who fled the turmoil in Syria while pregnant, is among four refugees living in Cardiff who told WalesOnline their stories.
These are the real-life stories of four refugees who have undertaken harrowing journeys over land and sea to Wales.
From travelling on an overcrowded cargo ship at four months pregnant and left stranded at sea near the Italian coast to being tortured by smugglers and locked in a dark room for a week, their heartbreaking accounts are just the harsh reality of life for tens of thousands.
They have spent their life savings and been subjected to un-imagineable hardships as the flee the turmoil of war in their home countries.
At first glance Asmaa Al-Fashtaki seems like any other 29-year-old as she smiles at her five-month-old son, Nabil, before tucking him in his pram.
But behind that smile she lives with reminders of the atrocities she and her family experienced in her native Syria and the horror she went through as she fled to save her life, alone, and pregnant.
With a Masters degree in social science Asmaa worked at a children’s nursery in the city of Daraa, close to the border with Jordan, and made the long journey to the UK in November last year.
Home was bombed
Speaking via interpreter Ferass Nadde, she explained: “When the trouble started our city and our family home was bombed and we were threatened.
“My family and I had to leave the area and we moved to Jordan, to the Zaatari refugee camp. I was with my husband and was pregnant at the time. Living there was awful, it wasn’t even liveable.
“We then rented a place outside but we couldn’t work or anything under the system so we decided to move to Turkey. But the Jordan government took my husband’s documents so he couldn’t leave.
Shared room with three other pregnant women
When she arrived in Cardiff Asmaa was put in accommodation at Lynx on Newport Road for three months, sharing a room with three other pregnant women, but the living conditions made life difficult.
She was then moved to NASS accommodation before moving on to a house but when she applied for leave to remain in the UK as a refugee she had to leave the house.
Her son, Nabil, who was born at the University Hospital of Wales in April, was a newborn baby at the time and they both went to stay with Asmaa’s friend.
Source : Wales online