Omar had long dreamt of escaping discrimination in Syria, and drawn by exuberant images of the Gay Pride march in Amsterdam he hoped to find a new life in the Dutch city after fleeing war at home. But four months after arriving in the Netherlands, the 20-year-old was shocked to find himself the victim of insults, taunts and intimidation from his fellow travelling companions.
"Coming to the Netherlands, which is the country of freedom and expressing yourself, and being bullied there as a gay person, it was completely crazy," he said.
He is among more than 54,000 refugees who made it to the Netherlands in 2015, crossing by boat to Greece and then flying to Holland in September on a fake Spanish passport. "It was surprising that those people, after making a long journey, tiring journey, after they get there, they’re still capable of bullying and harassing me," he said.
Omar's experience has not been unique, as gay refugees have found themselves caught between the conservative cultural outlook of refugee families, and the more tolerant Dutch attitude. Read more via AFP