By Katarina Zoric, IFRC

The smiling face of 17-year-old Mxabn from Iraq masks the hardships of the last year and a half.  She is hundreds of kilometres from home, has lived in a migrant centre for eight months, and still hasn’t reached her hoped-for final destination – Germany.

Together with her family, the teenager left Iraq fearing for her life and started down a path full of uncertainty.

“The situation in Iraq wasn’t and still isn’t good. Because of the conflicts and constant explosions we were scared for our lives. My father couldn’t earn enough money for a normal life. We all wanted a better life and that’s why we’ve decided to leave our country,” says Mxabn.

Mxabn is currently living in the temporary migrant reception centre Sedra, in Bihac, Bosnia and Herzegovina. She has found new friends there; she’s learning new languages and in her spare time, she likes to draw.

“I’ve been in Sedra for eight months now and I like it here. My whole family likes it here. But we still want to go to Germany. We would like to start our new life as soon as possible,” says Mxabn.

She also likes to spend time with the Red Cross volunteers.

“I like talking to them, and we often laugh together. It means a lot to me to have these nice people in my life. I think of them as my friends,” she says.

Mxabn’s journey from Iraq to Bosnia and Herzegovina was arduous. She walked hundreds of kilometres and stayed in many camps throughout Turkey, Greece and Macedonia. There wasn’t always enough food for her and her family and they struggled with heat and cold, but Mxabn tries not to focus on the difficult situations she experienced.

Instead, she looks toward the future.

“I hope we’ll soon get to Germany. I want a normal life with my family. I would like to become a doctor, but I know I have to learn German language first,” Mxabn says.

Despite all the obstacles she has faced and the uncertain future, Mxabn remains optimistic and truly believes that one day all her dreams will come true.