Finally we could afford to live in the house of our dreams.
The family house was located outside the center of Homs, large and spacious.
After years of hard work as a teacher, my husband had saved up enough money to renovate it.
I was glad, finally our children would have enough space to grow up happy.
I used to spend days with my sisters thinking about the furniture and the parties that we could have organized in that house.
The whole family would have been together, we would have all fitted in.
I still remember the marble countertop in the kitchen, it was shiny and new.
I could have kneaded bread and cooked all the food I wanted in that beautiful kitchen.
Everything was ready, all that was missing were the appliances, the beds and the upholstery.
I remember that long discussion with my husband.
That month he wanted to spend the money we had planned to spend on the furniture to buy a small car, as ours had suddenly broken down.
He insisted on spending the money for the car, I was angry because I wanted the washing machine, beds and carpets.
I wanted to move out as soon as possible.
After a long discussion, he won.
He had bought a car, small and ugly.
Every day I looked at it and it made me angry, that damn car had delayed the life I dreamed of in that house.
A few weeks later, that damn car became our home and our only way out.

The situation in Homs was getting bad, the army was entering the houses, taking the men away.
Our options were few: kill or be killed.
But we had a car, and on those nights it became our home, our comfort and our salvation.
That small, ugly car took us to Turkey, just over the border with Syria, and we saved ourselves before things became even more terrible.
We were rescued seven years ago, but I clearly remember what my husband said to me on the way there: 'did you see that the washing machine doesn't have wheels, my love'... we burst out laughing, a laugh that sounded like the calm after the storm.
We have always believed in change and have always fought for it, we have never believed that there were only those two terrible ways, we have fought for a third way, the way of freedom.
And this is why almost all the men in my family are dead or missing, the lucky ones are abroad like us, broken in their souls.
The women in my family are tired, sick, some dead of heartbreak, what mother has a heart strong enough to bear the scenes of her children being tortured and killed.
The price of freedom.
It took me a few years to rise again when I arrived in Turkey, we had lost everything.
My husband didn't, he went on and supported every single person who still believed in a better future.
We had lost brothers, friends, we had lost our land and the war was not over. It kept on destroying everything, and it continues.
A monster hungry for hope, that's how I describe it to my children.
This misery eats hope.
After a few years I managed to get back on my feet, I did it for my children.
I started taking back the documents of the house and contacting relatives to find out how we could safeguard what little we had left.
Thank God, that area had not been bombed.
Every day I prayed for us, for our people and that the only thing left in Syria would not be destroyed.
"Please God let me at least have the house, I swear I will come back with all my courage and we will start again".
Our house was never bombed but it became a base for several army paramilitaries, the marble countertop riddled with bullets, the doors used to warm the freezing nights.
Today a man lives in that house with his family, an important man, known for having collaborated with the army in various massacres.
In every way we have tried to take back the house, but today it is occupied by those who have chosen to kill their brothers and sisters and by those who have eaten the hope of us all.
I am tired, sometimes I cry, here I have no friends and no sisters.
But I don't give up, one day, God willing, we will return home.
I will also take my little and last daughter with me, I have called her Amal, which means hope.