The gay Syrian refugee forming a new life in the UK

On Mar 3, 2017 BBC reported: Samar fled Syria fearing for his life, when his father discovered he was gay. Now, he is living in the UK, where he can finally be open about his sexuality.
Samar – not his real name – has two Facebook profiles.
On one, he is a proud gay man starting his life again in the UK after fleeing Syria following death threats.
He posts selfies wearing a rainbow scarf and attending gay pride marches.
On the other he keeps in touch with his worried mother, who asks when he will marry a nice Arabic girl.
‘Always anxious’
As a teenager in the city of Aleppo, Samar knew he was living on borrowed time.
“I was always nervous, always anxious,” the dark-haired and softly spoken 21-year-old tells the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire programme.
“I knew I felt good talking to boys. I found things on the internet about ‘gay’ and I thought: ‘Yes, this is me’. And then: ‘Oh, I live in a very dangerous country’.”
Syria is one of 80 countries around the world where homosexuality is a criminal offence.
It is officially punishable by up to three years in prison, but Samar grew up listening to his father and their friends talking about killing gay men and knew that the law would not protect him.
But it was not until one of his brothers reported him to their father when he was 17, after overhearing him talking to a gay friend, that the danger became real.
It was 2013 and Samar now faced a life-changing decision – stay in a country at civil war, where he risked being killed for being gay, or flee his home and begin a journey into the unknown.
“I packed a bag, I told no-one and I left,” he says. “My heart was breaking.”
Samar spent the next two years trying to start a new life in Turkey, before deciding to make the journey to Western Europe.
He saved up for a ticket to board an inflatable dinghy to Greece in late 2015.
As he travelled onwards, he crossed seven borders over two months – sleeping in the street and surviving on water, bread and dates. He was arrested by police trying to cross into Hungary, before being released.
At Calais in France, he stowed away inside a fridge on a truck and hoped that the air would not run out before they reached the UK.

Read more at The gay Syrian refugee forming a new life in the UK – BBC News

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