Mahmoud Idrees left his home town of Latakia, Syria, at the end of September. He first crossed the border into Turkey and then continued through Crete to Greece. He bought a fake passport in Athens for 200 euros and arrived in Helsinki on Christmas Day. He registered as an asylum seeker and was assigned to the bottom unit of a bunk bed in room 256 of the Helsinki Reception Centre on Kaarlenkatu.
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“There's no future for me in Syria. I couldn't live there. I dreamt of leaving for seven or eight years,” the 28-year-old Idrees tells in the conference room of the reception centre. From the window you see a tram stop and the slush-covered street.