From the war to Varberg

Ahmad came home to Syria in 2012 after three years of working abroad. He quickly realized that it only was a matter of time before he would be called up to the army to fight in the civil war. Ahmad decided to flee. Watch the video

In charge of CAD and blueprints

Today he is in charge of CAD and blueprints at BEWI in Varberg. But it has been a rocky road to get here. Ahmad tells the story:

“I’d worked for three years as an assistant engineer for an Italian company building concrete foundations for a gas pipeline through Algeria. When I fleed Syria I came back to Algeria, found a new job and saved money.

I came into contact with a smuggler and travelled to the Libyan border. More and more refugees arrived and a month later we were 350 women, men and children crossing over to Europe on a trawler. We were lucky, the weather was fine, but I was nervous anyway. It was crowded, the sea was choppy and I can’t swim.

After 12 hours the skipper was able to contact the Red Cross in Sicily. They sent a ship that took us to Palermo, where we got food, clothes and medicine. I’d already decided to head for Sweden and took the train to Milan with some friends I’d met on the crossing.

In Milan there are “taxis” that can take you anywhere in Europe. The drivers wait at the train station and I guess there are some sort of organized crime in the background, but what can you do? We were four in the car plus the driver, who took us to Copenhagen.

Via Malmö and Gothenburg I arrived at the refugee camp in Varberg in November 2014. I learned Swedish, the Red Cross kept us occupied – we played a lot of football, and Martin Bekken from BEWI often came to visit. He needed someone who could help customers with CAD and blueprints and I gladly volunteered.


In 2016 I started as an intern at BEWI, while also studying Swedish and getting a driver’s license.

Today I’m employed at BEWI. I would love to go back to my street, my parents and my friends in Syria, but I know that I will go to prison if I return.

I did my military service as a police officer but escaped rather than join up. I’d rather stay here. The view on refugees may be harsher than it was before 2015, but it has not affected me. I work, I pay my taxes. I’m happily married, we have a beautiful daughter and enjoy living in Sweden.”

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