Khalid's Story: A Perilous Journey from Syria to Europe

Meet Khalid… Khalid is from Damascus in Syria. Since the start of Syria’s civil war in 2011, the violence, conflict and destruction have ravaged the population. Khalid was one of the many protesters during the Arab Spring. His hobby was photography and he began sending pictures of protests to the media. Khalid wanted to make a difference, but he was caught. Khalid was imprisoned and tortured by the government. He was even forced to watch his friend tortured to death.

Khalid’s father paid a large bribe for his release. Over a number of months he was nursed back to health by his parents. However, masked men soon came looking for Khalid. He had to leave, without even a chance to say goodbye to his parents.

Khalid fled across Europe for safety. He has now been granted Asylum in Norway.

The comics were serialised in The Guardian and Aftenposten (11-13 Nov 2015), and an exhibition launched at the Nobel Peace Centre, Oslo (12 Nov 2015). The project was generously funded by Norwegian People's Aid.

Discussion Points

  1. What are your initial reactions to Khalid’s Story?

  2. Did anything surprise you? How are your life experiences different from Khalid's? In what ways are they the same? 

  3. How and why was Khalid displaced? Do you think he is a migrant (someone who moves find work or better living conditions) or a refugee (someone fleeing conflict, persecution, or natural disasters)? Why?

  4. What additional provided resource (i.e. video, news article, infographic, documentary, etc.) did you find most interesting and why?

  5. How was experiencing Khalid’s Story in comic form different from simply reading it?

  6. In what ways was this story different from most refugee stories seen in the news today? Did you relate to it any differently?

  7. Discuss the issue of PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) in the context of refugees. How do you think Khalid feels now that he’s ‘safe’ in Norway?

  8. If you could speak to Khalid, what would you say or ask?



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