A sign reads “Willkommen in Deutschland.”

The woman’s pale face shines a brilliant smile, her head disorientingly uncovered. I understand nothing she says. I am spellbound by her light voice spilling hard sounds like a fountain crashing across stone. Nodding, she hands me a small bundle. My hand clutches my ragdoll tighter, while the other pulls on father’s pants.

“Take your new clothes, Reem.” Father’s voice sounds frayed. Tears streak his dirty cheeks.

Clothes for me? They smell clean, like jasmine. I swallow several times, reminded of mother, of Syria. My cramped hand clenches tighter, refuses to release our dreams.

Photo is from UNHCR Photo Unit.


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