• Sweden's news in English
This Syrian boy wants to meet the King of Sweden
Ahmed wants to tell his story to the king. Photo: Pooja Sharafi

This Syrian boy wants to meet the King of Sweden

The Local · 4 Feb 2016, 15:20

Published: 04 Feb 2016 11:55 GMT+01:00
Updated: 04 Feb 2016 15:20 GMT+01:00

One of 163,000 refugees to arrive in Sweden last year, Ahmed, 12, fled from Syria four months ago with his family. Already adjusted to life in the Nordic country, he today attends school in Malmö and his dreams are big: he wants to meet King Carl XVI Gustaf to talk about his journey and his time in Sweden so far.

Pooja Sharafi, 29, a school counsellor at his school, Sofielundskolan in southern Sweden, revealed to The Local on Thursday how he helped Ahmed write a letter to the Royal Palace, after the boy reached out to him. 

"I had told the pupils they could come and talk to me if they had something on their mind. Ahmed told me a little bit about his journey from Syria and that he really wanted to contact the king," he said.

Sharafi, who was very touched by the story, did not have to be asked twice. Ahmed wrote the letter in Arabic, his native language, then Sharafi asked a colleague to translate the letter into Swedish.

"I cried when I read it the first time," he said.

In the letter, Ahmed described his life in Syria, his journey to Sweden and how his life changed when he got to Sweden.

It starts: "Hi King Gustav! My name is Ahmed and I am 12 years old. I have a mum, a dad and a brother. We have always lived in a beautiful house filled with joy in Aleppo, Syria."

The letter sent to the king. Photo: Pooja Sharafi. 

"My parents had cars and we lived in happiness until the war started with the sound of missiles, shots and fear."

"I could no longer go to school because my teacher was killed by a gunshot right in front of our eyes, me, my brother and our teacher's children. Our friends were there too. I can’t forget these seconds. They were my worst moments," the letter, which was first written about by Swedish tabloid Expressen, read.

He went on to describe how his father decided the family had to escape, how they had to go on a rubber boat to Turkey, how terrified Ahmed was and how the police in Turkey took them to a worse place than the boat with too many people and terrible smell, until the police released the family.

"We got to Sweden. I want to meet the Swedish King to tell him my story. I heard he is a noble king. I have carried a bag of new clothes to wear when I meet this king," Ahmed wrote to the Royal Palace.

"I wish to meet you when I wear my new clothes, which I have carried all the way to Sweden to see you," he ends his letter.

Ahmed has not yet received a reply to his note, which was sent on Tuesday. In the meantime, Sharafi has started a Facebook page in the hope that people will share the story to increase the chances to get the Swedish royal to notice the letter and Ahmed.

Story continues below…

According to Sharafi, Ahmed is pleased that people want to share his story.

"Ahmed thinks it’s really good thing that this has got a lot of attention. He will be a good role model for everyone who want to tell these kinds of stories," he said.

The Local has contacted the Royal Palace for a comment.

Article by Emma Lidman

For more news from Sweden, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Today's headlines
Brexit vote
Sweden opposition cools talk of 'Swexit' poll
Anna Kinberg Batra, of the largest opposition party, the Moderates. Photo: TT

"This is a sad day for the British and for Europe."

Brexit vote
Swedish PM swats aside calls for EU renegotiation
"Sweden will now lose an important partner in the EU," Löfven said. Photo: TT

Left Party calls "totally irresponsible."

Brexit vote
'Devastated' - Brits in Sweden shocked by Brexit vote

Expat Brits in Sweden have reacted with shock, despair and uncertainty to the result of the EU referendum in the UK which was won 52-48 by the Leave campaign.

Brexit vote
'A morning of sorrow': Sweden reacts to Brexit vote
Photo: TT

The former Swedish EU minister, Birgitta Ohlsson declared that it was 'a morning of sorrow', after British voters opted to leave the European Union on Thursday.

The Local Recipes
How to make Karin's delicious Midsummer cake
Karin's cake. Photo: swedishfood.com

"We are very tolerant of other cultures except when it comes to strawberries."

Sweden named the world's 'most reputable' country
The flag of the world's most reputable country – at least according to one report. Photo: Fredrik Sanberg/TT

Sweden has been ranked as the most reputable country in the world by a new report. Find out why.

Why most students don't finish Swedish for Immigrants
More students are taking Swedish for Immigrants classes, but completion rates are low. Photo: Pontus Lundahl

Only four in ten students finished their courses at Sweden's state-funded Swedish for Immigrants classes in 2015, according to new statistics from a national agency.

Swedish police nab drunk-driving lawnmower man
Lawnmowers: dangerous, in the wrong hands. Photo: Hasse Holmberg/TT

A man in southern Sweden is at risk of having his licence revoked after drunkenly driving a motorized lawnmower.

Sweden has EU's second highest food prices
A shopper prepares for the inevitable fleecing. Photo: Fredrik Persson/TT

If your loaf of bread seems ridiculously expensive that’s because it is.

Here's how much alcohol Swedes drink on Midsummer
Systembolaget is a busy place around Midsummer. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

Swedes are known for letting loose on Midsummer, but the most recent figures from the country's state-run alcohol monopoly may surprise you.

Sponsored Article
How to find student housing in Malmö: 5 tips
How do Swedes celebrate Midsummer?
Sponsored Article
'Sweden gives artists the space to follow their dreams'
Coming soon: Sweden’s smelly fermented fish
Assange lawyer: Sweden should recognize UN opinion
Blog updates

17 June

Queen’s Birthday Stockholm 2016: 9th June. 90th Birthday. 900 Guests! (The Diplomatic Dispatch) »

"What do you do when you read that the Queen’s 90th Birthday in London will be…" READ »


10 June

i lördags, på lördag – time phrases for present, past and future (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hejsan! Swedish time phrases can be difficult to master. It takes a lot of practice to…" READ »

Sponsored Article
5 reasons you should try dating with The Inner Circle
The Local Voices
Why is this Syrian dentist who hugs like a Swede worried about undies?
Sponsored Article
The man behind Sweden's biggest music festival
Swedish nationalist 'shot and ate' lion and giraffe
Analysis & Opinion
'Sweden's residency revamp is harmful and inhumane'
Photo: The Local
The Local Voices
UNHCR boss: 'It's hard to start your life without your family'
Sponsored Article
US expats: Have you met your tax deadlines?
VIDEO: Brits in Europe say why UK should stay
Sponsored Article
Education abroad: How to find an international school
Photo: Marko Risović
The Local Voices
World Refugee Day: Searching for safety in Europe - in pictures
Is Swedish nationalists’ foreign food ban bananas?
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Property of the week: Söråker
Sponsored Article
Malmö: Home to the best food in Sweden?
Poll shows huge support for EU in Sweden
The Local Voices
How a Syrian scuba diver mobilized Sweden's biggest asylum centre
Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
Zlatan: 'If we'd been fighting for real, he'd be in hospital'
Sponsored Article
VIDEO: Why Malmö is the world's 6th best city for biking
The Local Voices
Orlando reflections: Is it possible to be gay and Muslim?
Sponsored Article
5 reasons you should try dating with The Inner Circle
Sweden to go ahead with migrant age tests
Sponsored Article
US expats: Have you met your tax deadlines?
People-watching: June 17th-19th
Sponsored Article
Stockholm school celebrates Nepal Project success
Will you be hit by changes to Sweden's residency laws?
Sponsored Article
6 simple travel hacks that will make your life easier
The Local Voices
Why an Iraqi who won Swedish lottery won't quit his restaurant job
People-watching: Midweek revellers
Why this pizzeria is giving elderly Swedes free meatballs
jobs available
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at: