At home in Shrubhill: Amr’s story
16 September 2020
Amr has just moved into our newly opened Shrubhill development and has written an excellent blog about his story and experience of living in Leith.
I’m a Syrian guy and I am 23 years old. I was born and raised in Damascus, the capital of Syria. I was living in my parents’ house until I moved to Cairo to find a better place to study and to be safe from the war in Syria. I moved there by myself when I was 16 years old to start a new life.
I finished my high school and I started studying in the law college at Cairo University. When I was studying, I was also working full time in a retail job in visual merchandising. I was then relocated to the UK from Egypt through a vulnerable person relocation scheme facilitated by UNHRC, due to concerns about my safety as a Syrian refugee in Egypt. Unfortunately, I didn’t graduate from university because I had to find a safer place to live in and to be able to express my feelings openly.
When I arrived in Scotland, my English was not strong enough to be able to go to university so I had to go to English classes to improve my level. Now, after living in Scotland for 2 years, I am able to start my new course, UAL Level 2 Diploma in Art and Design – Fashion and Textiles. I’m really looking forward to it as it’s one of my dreams to start studying a subject I’m interested in. I’ve also just started working part-time as a waiter in a restaurant.
My first impression of my new home at Shrubhill? Well I’m going to tell you a nice story. One day, I was with a friend at Calton Hill enjoying the view and I was looking around. I had seen the Shrubhill Walk building – it was at night so the light was on and I thought what a beautiful place to live in but I never thought for one minute that I would be lucky enough to live there one day. I went to Places Gym before I moved to my flat so it felt like home already, even before I moved there.
Leith is one of my favourite areas in Edinburgh. It has many good shops and restaurants and it’s a really convenient location. It has strong cultural diversity which makes it feel like home. My favourite place in Leith is Leith Links – it’s beautiful place to walk around and to chill there.
It was hard to move alone and start building up a new place on my own but I’m glad I had friends to support me and help me out with many things.
I just wanted to say that I never felt at home anywhere since I left my home in Syria but now, after 8 years of moving from place to place, I feel safe and secure. I now feel I can focus on my life and my studies.