Interview with a #SaveSwitzerland Hero
Ahmed left Syria six months ago and walked to Switzerland to donate all his cash and valuables to our cause. Yes, walked! Can you believe it? He is just so dedicated to helping our country recover from its horrific crisis, that he simply didn’t want to spend a penny on transportation, so that he would have more money to donate to Switzerland.
We caught up with Ahmed as he left the Department of Involuntary Donations office in Geneva…
SaveSwitzerland: So, Ahmed, you just gave away everything you own to help Save Switzerland. How do you feel?
Ahmed: Invigorated! Finally, my life seems to have some purpose. Being able to give to this poor, war-torn country has been the high point of my life so far. It’s like I’ve somehow reawakened my sense of humanity.
SS: What are your first impressions of Switzerland?
Ahmed: It’s shocking. The devastation… Well, I saw it in the media back home in Syria, of course, but really, nothing can prepare you for what it’s like here. Entire cities have been levelled. Children are literally starving in the streets. Women who have lost everything are forced into prostitution… It’s like there is no civilised Switzerland any more, and what remains is just desolation and desperation.
SS: Indeed, it’s terrible what we are going through. But that just makes it all the more surprising that you came, doesn’t it? I mean, how could you leave idyllic Syria for this bombed out shell of a country?
Ahmed: I won’t lie to you — it wasn’t easy. When I think back to my life in Syria… The riches, the abundance, the lavish lifestyle I once had… We have so much there, you know? We’re so… spoiled. Yes, spoiled is the right word for it. Even people on a middle class income have a very pleasant life there.
SS: Sitting here in Switzerland, it’s very hard to imagine…
Ahmed: Of course, sure. But, you know, it’s not the wealth itself that really matters, when you think of it. It’s the stability. A land like Syria enjoys such bounty because it is so well governed and at peace. That’s the striking difference between Syria and Switzerland. In the city of Aleppo, for example, you don’t have to worry about walking around in the streets because of snipers or be scared to send your kids to school because barrel bombs are raining down on the school buildings. You don’t think twice about going out for bread because the army is shelling the bakery. Compare that to, say, Zürich, where every public space is a danger zone, where death lurks behind every corner…
SS: Aleppo sounds like a dream.
Ahmed: Oh, it is, it is…
SS: So, what will you do next here in Switzerland, now that you’ve involuntarily donated your assets to our poor nation?
Ahmed: Well, I’ve been reading about opportunities for volunteer jobs for refugees at cleaning companies in Switzerland. That seems like something I could do. Really, I have to do something. To see the horror that people are going through here and just do nothing… well, that would be inhuman wouldn’t it?