‘What you say may cause deep damage that will last longer than a government’s mandate or a financial year.’
My name is Abdulazez Dukhan. I am 18 years old. I am one of the four million people who have fled Syria. We left behind our hearts and the people that we lost – both buried somewhere along the road.
I am sending you this message to congratulate you on the presidency. But also to remind you how much your words matter in deciding our future.
We started the revolution holding roses and hoping for support from the international community.
Years passed; the roses turned into guns but the hope for support continues. Still, neither roses nor hope helped.
Could your predecessor have done anything to change our fate? I don’t know. But we will continue to have faith. Your words matter to us. You might be able to change our future.
I left Syria with my family four years after the revolution started. Nobody wanted to leave. But what can we do against the tanks? What can we do when death is falling from the sky?
We are weak. We wanted the international community’s support and we know that it will come. Faith is what moved us and faith is what is keeping us going.
Now I am a refugee. The hardest thing about living in a refugee camp is the isolation. People build walls around us and countries build walls around those walls.
Dear future president, borders kill dreams. I’ve seen dreams die before their body – it leaves that person with no soul. For those of us who still have faith, please don’t build walls in front of us.
Maybe today is my last day as a refugee and tomorrow I will be safe somewhere in the world. Maybe I will go back to my beloved Syria and start rebuilding. Maybe I can still dream for one more day.
Dear future president, we hope that someone can hear our words. We hope that you do.
Abdulazez Dukhan is using photography to raise awareness about the situation for refugees. He runs the project Through Refugee Eyes .
This text has been edited for clarity and length. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect Al Jazeera’s editorial policy.