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Ammar Mohammed Alajrab, 30

Syrian refugees from the Bab Amur suburb of Homs, now living in Al Mafraq, Jordan

We were oppressed in Homs. The governor would collect money for the regime, and basics were denied us. There were no generators, no water tanks, no electricity. When we saw the revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt we felt inspired. Everyday we used to protest against the regime. Then they sent soldiers and tanks to stop people demonstrating. They started to break into houses, interrogate people and look for weapons.

People used to protest near the clock in the centre of Homs, then one night, at 1:30am, the army fired on the crowd. To this day no one knows how many were killed. The Syrian Army entered my house one night at 4am, they broke the door down and ordered us to stand and face the wall. They had a list of names. They told me to co-operate and hit me with the butt of a gun. They told us to leave our own home. They looted the abandoned houses. In the morning we found that everyone on the list had been taken away.

After this we didn't leave the house for 20 days, we were scared because there were checkpoints everywhere. My brother was detained for 15 days we had no idea where he was. Then we found him wandering. He had been tortured, he didn’t speak for a month. After 20 days we left Homs because it was becoming like a ghost city. There was arbitrary detention, the Shabiha (regime militia) and army were everywhere in the streets. The biggest fear was rape, women were being abused, and there was no security.

We took the bus to the border and told the police we wanted to visit our relatives in Jordan. Jordan is very safe, we can walk freely in the streets, but it's hard to survive because everything is expensive. I volunteer and sometimes earn some money.