“This journey is so tough. I can say ten years of displacement. Whenever I get used to a place, I get new acquaintance with my friends and then I leave everything and go,” Staif said. “It’s so hard and so disappointing for me and I hate it... It’s the war wherever I am. Crises all over the world and those places that I’ve been.
When Russia launched its war on Ukraine, a Syrian student in the city of Kharkiv joined the exodus of people fleeing the onslaught. It was the third time that 24-year-old Orwa Staif, who grew up in the suburbs of Damascus, was being displaced by war and crises, AP reports.
For Staif, it was a jarring déjà vu: columns of people, many on foot, carrying what few belongings they could, desperate to escape bombs and missiles. He had seen it all before, in his native Syria.
“The same sounds of bombs that I heard in 2013, I heard now in Kharkiv. I told my friends ‘I can’t believe I’m reliving the same experience’,” Staif told The Associated Press in Germany, where he has since reunited with his family.
According to the United Nations, more than 1 million people have fled Ukraine following Russia’s invasion, the swiftest refugee exodus this century. They fled to neighboring countries, with Poland taking in the highest number.
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