November 26, 2022

Great review for THE THREE OF US!


Great first review for THE THREE OF US by the blog DANCING ABOUT THE ARCHITECTURE from 26 November 2022!

The Three of Us is a song that comes from the heart and is based on experience. And even though the events that the song is based on happened decades ago, sadly, in these ever-darkening times, it still seems pertinent.

The song documents what it means to be an outcast in society, a refugee in a land where phrases such as “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free” have long since lost meaning. At the time, it seemed that doors were not only being shut in the narrator’s face but actively slammed and locked. But it is only with hindsight that the realisation that there were better angels, good people and a higher authority watching over them, even if their presence couldn’t often be felt.

And so the song takes a skittering, dance-pop beat, an R&B groove, Thir13een’s of-the-moment vocal style and an accessible stance and reminds us that even in our darkest hour, there are people you can turn to.

This is the latest song from Lily Amis to deal with significant issues such as immigration, refugee status and a fractured and intolerant society. Songs such as 80 Million People deal with the plight of refugees worldwide, Blood is Always Red deals with issues of war and discrimination, and The Stolen Years is a musical extension and summary of Lily Amis’ memoir, The Stolen Years in Zurich.

Unfortunately, we need artists such as Lily Amis and songs such as these, but we do…perhaps more than ever before. Having a platform to reach out to whole swathes of people is one thing; using it to spread such poignant and powerful messages is another. Thankfully people such as Lily Amis realise the power of music and spreading the word…the word being tolerance. (And empathy, love, compassion….)
 


November 24, 2022

The Three of us - My song lyrics in German

Mein viertes Song-Projekt mit dem Künstler Thir13een ist ab sofort überall erhältlich!

Es ist die Fortsetzung Song von "The Stolen Years" (Die Gestohlenen Jahre). Und hier ist der übersetzte Liedtext und eine kleine Erklärung: 

„Von Regentagen bis Sonnenuntergänge“ im Refrain symbolisiert die Tage, an denen wir vor Traurigkeit Tränen geweint haben und die Sonne und Trost in der Dunkelheit vermisst haben. 

„Von kühlen Tagen zu stürmischen Nächten im Winter“ im Refrain symbolisiert die ängstliche und unsichere Nächte während des Krieges und den Bombenangriffen und später als verstoßene Flüchtlinge für unsere existenzielle Unsicherheit und Zukunftssorgen, während alles stillstand wie im Winter, wenn alle Pflanzen und Bäume schlafen.


WIR DREI (THE THREE OF US)

Lily Amis featuring Thir13een für nasSima

Weltweit erhältlich!

 

Du warst immer für uns da

Immer nur wir drei

Von Regentagen bis zu Sonnenuntergängen

Von kühlen Tagen bis zu stürmischen Nächten im Winter

Ja, du und nur du! Ja

Ja, du und nur du! Ja

Ja, du und nur du! Ja

 

Heute Morgen habe ich Lilys Buch in meine Bibliothek zurückgebracht und

fand ihren versteckten Brief darunter, unter dem Weihnachtsbaum

Es ist an dich adressiert, also lass mich es lesen

Lass mich es dir vorlesen …

 

Lieber Gott, Menschen mögen unterschiedliche Geschichten haben

aber wir alle teilen ähnliche Sorgen

Verletzlich und ängstlich, aber unsere Liebe und unser Glaube

hat uns geholfen, die gestohlenen Jahre zu überleben

 

Mitten in der Nacht betete ich im Stillen

Ich sagte, die Bombenangriffe scheinen wie eine Ewigkeit

Lieber Gott bitte lass uns überleben oder wenigstens gemeinsam sterben

Es ist schrecklich, in Angst zu leben

schrecklich, endlose Nächte in Tränen zu überleben

Jeder Tag hätte der letzte sein können

Lieber Gott, dessen waren wir uns bewusst!

 

Du warst immer für uns da

Immer nur wir drei

Von Regentagen bis zu Sonnenuntergängen

Von kühlen Tagen bis zu stürmischen Nächten im Winter

Ja, du und nur du! Ja

Ja, du und nur du! Ja

Ja, du und nur du! Ja

 

Es brauchte viel Mut, geliebte Menschen und den Krieg hinter uns zu lassen

Dieser Schritt war ein Zeichen, ein Zeichen der Verzweiflung

Ohne Trost und emotionale Unterstützung

Wir drei haben bei null angefangen

Mutter beruhigte mich und sagte

Ich verspreche dir, wir werden wieder alles haben, was wir mal hatte

 

Ich habe schon früh gelernt, Menschen kommen und gehen

Mein egoistischer Vater hat mich mit fünf Jahren verlassen

Ein gewalttätiger Stiefvater hat uns in so vielen schwierigen Zeiten missbraucht

Eine lieblose Ehe mit nur zwanzig

Habe nie wahre Liebe und emotionale Sicherheit gefühlt

Die Zeit heilt alle Wunden, sagt man

Aber man kann gebrochenes Vertrauen und offene Narben nicht heilen

 

Du warst immer für uns da

Immer nur wir drei

Von Regentagen bis zu Sonnenuntergängen

Von kühlen Tagen bis zu stürmischen Nächten im Winter

Ja, du und nur du! Ja

Ja, du und nur du! Ja

Ja, du und nur du! Ja

 

Du bist immer für uns da

Es sind immer nur wir drei

Lieber Gott, danke, dass du uns beschützt

Zusammen für immer, nur wir drei!

 

Du bist immer für uns da

Es sind immer nur wir drei

Lieber Gott, danke, dass du uns beschützt

Zusammen für immer, nur wir drei!

 

Als wir im Kreislauf des Lebens gefangen waren

Der Verlust unserer Identität war ein emotionaler Albtraum

Der Kampf gegen jahrzehntelange Ablehnung eine seelische Folter

 

Du warst immer für uns da

Immer nur wir drei

Von Regentagen bis zu Sonnenuntergängen

Von kühlen Tagen bis zu stürmischen Nächten im Winter

Ja, du und nur du! Ja

Ja, du und nur du! Ja

Ja, du und nur du! Ja

 

Gott, ich habe nicht deine Postanschrift

Also benutze ich meinen Schornstein und leite Lilys Brief an den Weihnachtsmann weiter

November 22, 2022

The Three of us - The song lyrics!



Exciting NEWS! 

My fourth song project with my featured artist Thir13een is out today! 
It is the follow-up song to THE STOLEN YEARS. 

And here is the song lyric and a little explanation: "From rainy days to sunsets" in the chorus symbolizes the days that we were crying tears of sadness and missed the sun and comfort in the darkness." From chilly days to stormy nights in the winter"  in the chorus symbolizes the fearful and uncertain nights during the war and the bomb attacks and later as rejected refugees our existential insecurity and worries of the future while everything stood still like in winter when all the plants and trees are sleeping. 

Here we go.... 


The Three of us

Lily Amis featuring Thir13een for nasSima

Release: 22.11.22 worldwide


You were always there for us

Always just the three of us

From rainy days to sunsets

From chilly days to stormy nights in the winter 

Yeah, you and only you! Yeah

Yeah, you and only you! Yeah

Yeah, you and only you! Yeah

 

This morning I took Lily’s book back to my library and

I found her hidden letter underneath, underneath the Christmas tree

It was addressed to you, so let me read it

Let me read to you…

 

Dear God, humans may have different stories

but we all share similar worries

Vulnerable and afraid but our love and faith

helped us survive the stolen years

 

In the middle of the night, I prayed silently

I said the bomb attacks seem to last forever

Dear God, please let us survive or at least, all die together

It’s terrifying to live in fear

horrifying to survive endless nights in tears

Every day could have been the last

Dear God, we’re conscious of that!

 

You were always there for us

Always just the three of us

From rainy days to sunsets

From chilly days to stormy nights in the winter 

Yeah, you and only you! Yeah

Yeah, you and only you! Yeah

Yeah, you and only you! Yeah

 

It took allot of courage to leave loved ones and war behind

Taking this step was a sign, a sign of desperation

With no comfort and emotional support at all

The three of us started over from zero

Mum calmed me down and said

I promise you, we will have everything we left

 

I’ve learned from young age people come and go

My selfish father left me at five years old

A violent stepfather abused us during so much difficult times

A loveless marriage with only twenty

Never felt true love and emotional safety

Time heals all wounds they say

but you can’t heal broken trust and open scars

 

You were always there for us

Always just the three of us

From rainy days to sunsets

From chilly days to stormy nights in the winter 

Yeah, you and only you! Yeah

Yeah, you and only you! Yeah

Yeah, you and only you! Yeah

 

You ARE always there for us

At all times it’s just the three of us

Dear God, thank you for protecting us

2gether 4ever it’s just the three of us!

 

You ARE always there for us

At all times it’s just the three of us

Dear God, thank you for protecting us

2gether 4ever it’s just the three of us!

 

When we were trapped in the circle of life

Losing our identity was an emotional nightmare

Fighting decades of rejection a mental torture

 

You were always there for us

Always just the three of us

From rainy days to sunsets

From chilly days to stormy nights in the winter 

Yeah, you and only you! Yeah

Yeah, you and only you! Yeah

Yeah, you and only you! Yeah

 

God, I don’t have your postal address

So I use my chimney and forward Lily’s letter to Father Christmas

 

November 18, 2022

The Three of us - The song message!


When you feel lost and lonely and NO one is around to help, be assured that you are never alone. With my song “THE THREE OF US”, I want to remind lonely and hopeless people of all ages, generations, and religions to never lose their faith. When you are down, and I mean really down (for whatever reason!) and fighting depression or any kind of other mental illness, it’s hard to see the light at the end of the long and dark tunnel. And when people say this will go by, you only get more upset and feel misunderstood. 

I’m sure you have heard the saying “When one door closes another one opens.” I remember how this saying made me furious for many years. What am I saying? For decades!!! Because the truth is not only were ALL the doors closed and not one single door was ever opened, the doors were actually slammed into our faces with the ridiculous refugee law and all the discriminating bureaucracy obstacles. 

The saying means if one thing you do fails, you will soon have an opportunity to try to succeed at something else. NOPE! Not in our case. As a rejected asylum seeker, later refugee, and foreigner in a narrow-minded country with its condescending mentality and culture towards foreigners in general every single chance and opportunity was and is denied. Do you know why? Because no one cares! Selfish and Godless rule makers enjoy punishing desperate people who are already down.

I’m pretty sure that many people who have or will be experiencing what we have experienced will slowly but surely break down. Life challenges either break you or make you. Thank God, today after three difficult decades I can say that I’m proud that the difficulties made us who we are today and didn’t manage to break us. 

Finally, after three decades, I do recognize that despite all the mess, there were a few open doors. The only difference is that no one opened a door for us. We were the ones who opened them for ourselves because we never ever gave up and continued to fight for our rights and dignity. 

Today we see closed doors as a blessing because the more rejection we have experienced the more determined we were to keep on fighting. Fighting means growing! Just recently I said to my mum, do you realize that if this and that actually did work out in the past or if people who have turned their back on us and left for good still would be around our life, our motivation and energetic hunger to achieve our goals would have been a completely different one. That’s why I encourage people who are experiencing difficult times to write a Thank you letter to God and count the blessings they have right now (even if you find it hard to see them, trust me they are around). Remember that there are always people who suffer and struggle more and they do it in silence. 

Just be happy and grateful for what you have today and God will reward you. It may take years or even decades, but you will see that everything is happening for a reason. All the NOs, disappointments, rejections, and failures are shaping you and preparing you for something greater than your wildest dreams and imagination. Write an honest and personal letter to God. Make a copy of it. Burn the actual letter and keep the copy somewhere safe. Prepare yourself for unexpected and positive surprises in the future! 




This is a book that I highly recommend!




November 17, 2022

The Three of us - The song cover!


The other day, I read a quote on a calendar in German in my doctor's office waiting room saying: "Was nützt es, wenn wir mehrere Sprachen sprechen, solange wir nicht die Geduld aufbringen, einander zuzuhören" which means  "What is the use of speaking several languages when we don't have the patience to listen to each other".

This is so true! People don't listen. Why? Because they don't care! When we go through tough times, we find out who our REAL friends are. From our own experience, we know that people turned their backs and let us down when we needed them the most. And the few that remain only took advantage of our helplessness. 

Looking back at the challenging, and lonely decades, I'm extremely proud of my mum and myself that despite all the negativity in our life, human disappointment, and heartbreak we made it! We managed to survive and only got stronger! 

I remember the days when we felt lost and hopeless and all we desperately needed was some kind of emotional support. Kindness and compassion from family members and so-called friends, but no ONE was there. 

And yet, my mum and I were never completely alone. In our darkest hours, there was always a higher power with us. And that is my inspiration for my new song, "The Three of us", which will be released on the 22. November 2022 and available on all streaming platforms. It is the follow-up song to "The Stolen Years".

Even though it is our story, I think many lonely and hopeless people will be able to relate to the song lyrics. Especially those who have experienced war and the fear of dying. Single mothers who had to raise a child on their own without any kind of emotional support from a husband or family members will feel our pain and hopefully find some comfort in the beautiful melody, the incredible voice from my featured artist Thir13een, and the lyrics. 

November 10, 2022

Lilys Botschafter Audiobook / Hörbuch


2022 is coming soon to an end, and I have a special surprise for my German-speaking readers. Three of my adorable and wise ambassadors have been turned into an audiobook. Listening to Ludwig, Lennon, and Leonardo’s life story with an amazing narrator will not only be entertaining but also inspiring for young and young-at-heart audiobook lovers! 

My German narrator Dirk Jacobs has done an incredible job. He has given my three little ambassadors Ludwig, Lennon, and Leonardo a voice. Each story is told differently and will touch the listener’s heart and soul. It is a perfect Swiss-German collaboration and a must-have for audiobook and dog lovers!

As a writer and lyricist, I use words to bring attention and awareness to the topics close to my heart. I feel privileged that I can collaborate with incredibly talented artists and give my Lily4Refugees project literally a voice for the voiceless.

Lilys Botschafter, written by Lily & Sima Amis, and narrated by German narrator Dirk Jacobs from Berlin Germany, is my very first German audiobook production and the perfect gift for audiobook lovers. It is going to be available in all audiobook stores right on time for Christmas except for audible.

If you like to find out more about my narrator Dirk Jacobs, take a look at my blogger magazine Read My Mind 2022.



Das Jahr 2022 neigt sich dem Ende zu und ich habe eine besondere Überraschung für meine deutschsprachigen Leser. Drei meiner bezaubernden und weisen Botschafter wurden in ein Hörbuch umgewandelt. Hör Dir die Lebensgeschichte von Ludwig, Lennon und Leonardo mit einem erstaunlichen Erzähler an. Die Geschichten sind nicht nur unterhaltsam, sondern auch inspirierend für junge und junggebliebene Hörbuchliebhaber!

Mein deutscher Erzähler Dirk Jacobs hat Unglaubliches geleistet. Er hat meinen drei kleinen Botschaftern Ludwig, Lennon und Leonardo seine Stimme gegeben. Jede Geschichte wird anders erzählt und berührt das Herz und die Seele des Zuhörers. Es ist eine perfekte schweizerisch-deutsche Zusammenarbeit und ein Muss für Hörbuch- und Hundeliebhaber!

Als Autorin und Song Texterin verwende ich Worte, um Aufmerksamkeit auf Themen zu lenken, die mir am Herzen liegen. Ich fühle mich privilegiert, dass ich mit unglaublich talentierten Künstlern zusammenarbeiten und meinem Lily4Refugees-Projekt buchstäblich eine Stimme für die Stimmlosen geben kann.

Lilys Botschafter“, geschrieben von Lily & Sima Amis, gesprochen vom deutschen Sprecher Dirk Jacobs, ist meine allererste deutsche Hörbuchproduktion und das perfekte Geschenk für alle Hörbuchliebhaber. Es wird pünktlich zu Weihnachten in allen Hörbuchläden außer Audible erhältlich sein. 

Wenn Du mehr über mein Erzähler Dirk Jacobs erfahren möchtest, wirf doch ein Blick in mein Blogger Magazin Read My Mind 2022!



November 03, 2022

ITV, are you serious?

 


I haven’t been posting anything in October, because I'm heartbroken and in shock about the recent events in Iran. But today I got so upset that I have to write this blog post.

While innocent young people are fighting for freedom in Iran and falling like tree leaves, today ITVs main concern in the “Good morning Britain” and “Lorraine” show are the CORRECT pronunciation of Adel’s name. Are you serious? 

We know that the media is corrupt and manipulative. Trust me, everyone with a little bit of IQ is aware of your games. But this tops everything. Making a story out of nothing just to fill your airtime while instead you could use your platform and be the voice for innocent young people in Iran is shameful.



While in Germany the TV channels Sat 1 and Pro Sieben make a supportive and strong statement at “The Voice of Germany” in the semi-final show and stand up with the helpless women in Iran, you waste your airtime and the viewer's precious lifetime with nonsense. 

Who cares how Adele’s name is pronounced correctly? Honestly, it’s time to finally wake up and take some responsibility as so-called “Journalists” and “TV hosts”!

Since Mahsa Amini's death on September 16th, dozens of children have lost their lives for nothing! FOR NOTHING! Every day that goes by more people are losing their life for freedom. And you think Adele’s name pronunciation is more relevant? This is your BREAKING NEWS?

WAKE UP! Look at these victims' pictures below and ask yourself, what is wrong with you? When have you lost your sense of humanity and responsibility as serious journalists? 






Every single person who sees all these horrible images and videos about Iran and decides to stay calm, ignore it, and say nothing about it has no heart or sense for humanity. Honestly, I feel so sorry for you and pray for your soul! 


September 27, 2022

My Spotify playlists & Read My Mind 2022!

After recovering from Covid - which was really awful :-( - I’m working on formatting my annual blogger magazine READ MY MIND.  

2022 has been entirely dedicated to music. It all started with my Ambassadors story “Lennon, The Miracle of Music”. In spring I've invited international Indie artists for a Q&A on my blog and thanks to my online petition #HumanityB4Nationality I can finally share my song lyrics as a storyteller.  

Meanwhile, I have released three songs. 80 Million People!, Blood is always red! And The Stolen Years. I hope you enjoy my lyrics with my talented British artist Thir13een's incredible voice. 

I have also created playlists on Spotify! Hope you enjoy them as well.

Stay tuned for reading and browsing through Read My Mind 2022 and much more!














COMING SOON...

September 16, 2022

Remembering the Queen!


RIP QUEEN

 "Only one person besides my mom actually did try to help me and heard my voice, my cry for help, so to say. It was in 2005 when I published the first version of Destination: Freedom. I sent a copy to many “powerful” people around the world to bring awareness to our hopeless struggle as refugees. I received encouraging answers but the ONLY person who really cared and acted was Queen Elizabeth." Lily Amis

These days the world is watching United Kingdom and people who have met the Queen share their incredible, touching, and funny stories. And I remembered a blog interview that I gave back in 2016 to a British writer. I haven't shared this interview here on my own blog to this date. But now is the best time and my way to remember the Queen. She was a remarkable woman in every way and will always be remembered for her love, loyalty, compassion, and kindness! And of course for her great sense of humor.... 




Hope you enjoy the read! Here we go....

Thursday, 9 June 2016

Interview - Lily Amis (Author)


I've known Lily Amis for some time on Twitter, but only recently found out some of her harrowing and lonely background. Having had my children make a local collection for refugees in Calais, I am already cued into some of the awfulness of life in a refugee camp, but only from the outside. Imagine that it's you who escaped from a place where you might be injured or die, or at the very least live in fear of this happening every day, only to spend years in a life worse than poverty, worse than the bombings, because the country you've escaped to won't let you in, won't allow you your own life. Lily tells her first-hand account of escaping a middle eastern country at war, to raise awareness for people still suffering as she and her mother suffered.

Hello, Lily. Welcome to Script Alchemy, and thank you for taking the time to answer my questions about your life and your books. I have so many questions, but I'll try to narrow them down to the most relevant, to give folk a taste of  what they can read in your latest book, Destination Freedom. Please tell us a little of what it was like to live in a war zone, so bad your mother, Sima, made the decision to get you out of there and escape with you, at the age of ten, from war-torn Iran to the safe haven of Switzerland. How did it compare to what you knew before the war, in your younger days?

First of all thank you so much for doing this Interview with me Annelisa. I really appreciate your interest in me and my story. Living in a war zone from one day to another is one of the most horrifying experiences in Life, whether you’re an adult or a kid. As a kid you don’t really understand what’s going on because not even the adults know how to deal with this life-changing situation. I still remember and feel the uncertainty, insecurity and fear of death. Your daily life and the behaviour of the adults changes drastically. All of a sudden, people that gave you comfort and security are helpless too. Every moment can be the last, and you are totally conscious of that when you clearly  hear the bombings day and night. People always assume that war only happens in other countries. The truth is, our world is, was and sadly will always be a bad place. Why? Because of the stupidity of some “powerful” people who are ruling/destroying our world for nothing but greed for more power and wealth. These people forget that none of us will live forever!

Despite a horrible emotional-setback by my father, who left us when I was just five years old, I had a lovely childhood. I grew up in a home and neighbourhood filled with love and harmony. My mother’s parents were amazing and my mom, Sima, is the most loving, selfless and sacrificing human I have ever met. My family treated me like a little princess. I enjoyed school and loved my teachers and my schoolmates. I was a happy girl. Leaving everyone and everything you love behind, just to survive, is an emotional sacrifice that anyone who is trapped in the same situation would do. We all wish a fearless and safe life. And that’s our human right, regardless of where we come from.




Last year, you had some national exposure in the Daily Mirror newspaper, and Frost Magazine, but, I feel, not enough, considering your ambition to raise awareness for those that suffer in the way you suffered every day.

I can only imagine, it must have been truly awful for your mother to want to take you from it. But, what surprises me more, is what you say, that you think it "...would have been better to be killed by a bomb in our own home rather than to go through a permanent fight for acceptance in a foreign country and being treated like dirt and robbed of all our dignity." That puts into perspective how bad your life as a refugee was... it's hard to imagine. Can you give an idea how, for a child, this new situation was so much worse than the old?

Well your feeling is absolutely right Annelisa. I really didn’t get enough attention by the British media for my goal, which is as you correctly say, bringing awareness to a delicate topic and avoiding all the negativity and prejudice that refugees face.

What many people don’t know about my book Destination: Freedom is that I first published the book in 2005. In September 2014, I republished it after re-writing and polishing the first version. And, when I decided to promote my memoir in England, Germany, Austria and Swiss (because the book is also available in German) last year in June 2015, I could not have predicted that the refugee crisis would become a global issue.To my surprise, even though my timing was perfect with an honest and eye-opening first-hand story, it was difficult to find a publicist to support me. Agencies in Germany and Switzerland told me I wouldn’t have any chance with my topic, because the journalists aren’t really keen on the refugee topic. As said, that was in June and look what happened ironically just a few weeks later. However, despite the support of a professional Book Agency in London and the perfect timing for my story, only three titles (The Mirror, Frost Magazine and Female First) of a hundred British national titles, supported me as an Indie-Author. The Guardian considered a story, but then didn’t published anything as hoped. But that’s fine. 

As one of my inspiring Interview partners, the American Fiction Author, Bibiana Krall, quoted recently: “My spirit animal is the turtle. Dedication and patience wins the race.” I love her attitude and I also think that good things take time. The journey itself is what makes us who we are and not, the final destination. I also believe that I wouldn’t have become a blogger, if I didn’t feel unsupported by the media. Now I’m actually glad to speak out and reach people with my blog. And because of this lack of support and interest I have decided to support other creative people like myself. I feel it is my duty to help others on their journey. Selfless support is what Life is about and I love to help, because no ONE, except my mother, has ever supported me in my life.




Now, to your next question regarding my brutal but honest quote. Honestly, without any exaggeration, my experience and fear of death during the daily bombings in my hometown were NOTHING comparing to what we faced later as refugees in Switzerland for over two decades! Rejection, humiliation, discrimination and a life in constant fear of existence were like a lifelong punishment - from the minute we entered the country as war-refugees until today, where we are (FINALLY) Swiss Citizens -That’s what I felt as a child and still do as an adult. A life without human rights, freedom and dignity is worth nothing!

Sadly, the news is full of how refugees are trying to escape from areas of upheaval and conflict and, after making sometimes dangerous journeys, they end up in refugee 'camps' like the one in Calais. Escaping the war zone is obviously only the start of a new set of problems. What was the worst thing you remember about the journey out of Iran, and settling into a new country?

Thank you for this question. There is something that bothers me ever since the daily mirror article about Calais was online. Someone has made an anonymous comment. I quote: “This is a very dishonest article. Here is a very attractive young lady who looks like a native of Europe. The millions who want to get here (and alas are succeeding) look nothing like this.” 

Only a shallow and clueless man makes a thoughtless comment like this. I would love to ask this person: How would you look like if you had spent days without proper sleep and food? How would you look like if you had to fear for your life and leave everything and everyone that matters to you behind for a dangerous journey and an uncertain future?  These desperate people didn’t look like this, when they lived safe in their country. Nothing about this article was dishonest.

My journey from leaving my hometown and settling in Europe was, for sure, not as horrifying as the refugee’s fate now. We flew over 46 hours in less than a week and it was dramatic because of other reasons. (Don’t want to go into detail. It’s all written in Destination: Freedom) But, as you correctly say, the escape is only the start of a new set of problems. The journey is only the beginning of a lifelong misery. We see the images of the refugee’s journey these days, thanks to the media coverage, which is heart-breaking. But the actual tragedy begins from day one when they officially register as refugees in their new country.

Many refugees that entered Germany in 2015 full of false hopes decided to go back after just a few weeks of uncertainty in the refugee camps. I applaud them for this step. They may think that destiny was not on their side. But sometimes it is actually a blessing not to get what we wish. The children of these families will have a better future in their own homeland than having a future in a European country without any rights and dignity.

For me personally the worst thing was leaving behind my grandparents and my lovely home and personal belongings. That was an emotional disaster. I adored my grandparents and spent hours with my grandfather; who was also a father figure. I missed them like crazy. The first months without their love and care were horrible. It was also extremely challenging to spend months in a refugee house (in a room of 15 m) with complete strangers; families that I didn’t know. My happy world fell apart. Everything and everyone I knew was gone. My childhood was over and I had to grow up fast in a country, where I felt unwelcomed and rejected from minute one. 

Another setback was my Education. I was a very good student back in my hometown. I loved school and subjects like history, geography and biology. But, once in Switzerland, I first had to do a one-year preparation school for foreign kids. As a kid (at the age of five) I had already spent kindergarten in Germany because of a medical treatment I had back then. So in the back of my mind I understood the German language already. After the first year was over and I joined a Swiss Public School and I was shocked about the low level of education. When I showed my books from my hometown to my teacher he was very surprised. He couldn’t believe how further the level of schooling was in my own country. A higher education (also for women) was, and is still, extremely important in our culture. So, school wise, I was very unsatisfied and displaced. Unfortunately in the following years and during the most important time of Education I had to deal with a racist teacher, who made my life also a living hell. So, all in all, it was just a nightmare. I had lost everything that I loved: My home, my grandparents, my school, my lovely teachers and my schoolmates.

Everything I know today is from self-studying. I didn’t learn much in the oh so popular Swiss Schools. For example I learned English from watching cheesy American Soap Operas and not in School. God bless the Bold & Beautiful production and the Forrester Family! 

I see, from your website NasSima Design and YouTube channel of the same name, that you continue to be very close to your mother. You obviously have great respect for her. If you don't mind, I wonder if you would tell us something about this woman, brave enough to save you from a life of fear and bombs and travel to a strange country to start a new life? (Please be as expansive as you like. She is obviously as special woman.)


My mom is my BFF and the most loving, caring, understanding, independent and gifted woman I know. Without her strength, optimism and belief, we two wouldn’t have made it. Life was not easy on both of us. We had to overcome many obstacles and disappointments.  If anyone else would have experienced what my mom had as a single-mother, they wouldn’t have survived life.

As I said, I was raised like a princess and the new start in Switzerland was my emotional suicide. My childhood was immediately over.  But, I think, for my mom, the whole experience of becoming a refugee was much harder. Sima had lived in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Italy for many years during her twenties. She even lived in United Kingdom for six years and got married in London (Hampstead Heath). My mom lived in Surrey where her husband was studying Electric Engineering at the University of Surrey. In fact I have a half-brother, who’s a British and Canadian citizen. He was born in London (Surrey). Unfortunately, the marriage with my half-brother's father didn’t last and my mom returned to Tehran, where she met my father. My half-brother was very lucky; because of Education he stayed in London and moved later to Canada for University. Today he lives happily with his Canadian wife and my gorgeous niece in Toronto. He was lucky that he didn’t have to experience war.  

So, my mom was always used to live a free life in Europe. She sometimes even flew just for shopping with empty suitcases from Tehran to London.  But, when we left our country, because of war, and ended up in Switzerland (which was NEVER our destination) it was another story. After the revolution, and during the war, we were suddenly not welcome anymore. Sima already spoke fluent German and English and knew the culture and mentality very well. But the refugee law and bureaucracy didn’t care and treated us like sheet. My mom had to fight for us for years and I applaud her for her strong personality. Luck was never on our side. So Life made us stick stronger together. We have supported each other through so many emotional challenges in Life. Horrible men, terrible jobs, loneliness, social isolation, health issues, fear of existence etc. We are more than just mother and daughter. We are best friends, who could never rely on anyone else than on each other. No one has supported me like my mom. She is my rock! She is my everything. We complete each other and are also a great duo creative-wise. As naSima design we have worked on several projects and continue to do so. In fact right now we are working on a book in which we document her incredible work as designer and her message for tolerance, hope, believe and faith.

She sounds like an amazing and inspirational woman, Lily. I have a lot of respect for people who 'do what they gotta do' with determination and bravery. You say no one beside your mom ever supported you. I can't help but feel sad about that. Nobody at all helped you, in all that time? Did you ever ask for help?

Oh, trust me, I did. But, even to this date, I feel that it doesn’t really matter what you say or to whom you talk to. People are too busy with their own life and no one really listens to what you have to say. Everybody is somehow trying to manage Life which is understandable. I learned from very young age on that you can’t and shouldn’t rely on anyone beside yourself.

Having said that, I have to mention one person beside my mom, who actually did try to help and heard my voice, my cry for help, so to say. It was in 2005, when I published the first version of Destination: Freedom. I sent a copy to many “powerful” people around the world to bring awareness about our hopeless struggle as refugees. I received encouraging answers but the only person who really cared and acted was Queen Elizabeth.


"it was a gesture of understanding and support that not many people have shown until this date. Queen Elizabeth was amazing. The world needs more caring people like her. God bless her! Lily Amis


Our Queen? This I have to hear! Please tell more :-)

I wrote a very personal letter to Buckingham Palace and told her how my mom and I feel isolated, unaccepted, displaced and imprisoned (with our permission we were not allowed to travel outside of Switzerland for fifteen years).

The Queen passed my inquiry to Mister Jack Straw (the Foreign Minister) and informed me about it. And, when I didn’t receive any answer from Mister Straw’s office after months, I contacted the Queen again. It took a while, and then the British Embassy in Geneva contacted me and tried to find a way for us to move to the United Kingdom, because of my mom’s history in the UK and my British half-brother. 

As you can imagine this experience was amazing. I was so full of hope. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out, because my half-brother now lives in Canada. But it was a gesture of understanding and support that not many people have shown until this date. Queen was amazing. The world needs more caring people like her. God bless her.

What a lovely story. For us, the ones who were lucky enough to be born in a country without war, we see bureaucracy as an annoyance, an inconvenience, yet you say it was bureaucracy that made your life Hell. What changes would you like governments to make to reduce the misery and isolation refugees and their families are forced to endure?

Dealing with bureaucracy is a nightmare. I wish the governments would stop treating refugees like numbers of annoying folders on their desk. Behind every number is a destiny. And, for the love of God, Life is too short and precious to make it miserable for others. I want the governments to stop toying with people’s destiny. They didn’t choose to become refugees. None of them created war. They are only helpless and innocent victims of the stupidity of people in power. So instead of toying, support them and at the end everyone benefits. Include them instead of isolate them. Refugees are not a disease; they are human beings with the same desires as everyone else. Give them a life; give them the chance to build an independent life in dignity.

So, that's what the people 'in power' can do. What about ordinary people? It seems you weren't only isolated by the government's actions, but by those of the communities you moved within? How could they (we) have behaved differently to help you become an accepted part of them?

RESPECT, ACCEPTANCE, TOLERANCE and KINDNESS. That’s what I wish from people. That alone would help. Treat ALL people the way you want to be treated, when you are helpless and hopeless and desperate for understanding and emotional support. Easy as that!

All of us are going to die. Nobody stays forever. We all are nothing but guests on planet Earth. And the only thing that lasts is our actions of Love and kindness. Not what we have achieved (money, success, fame etc.) If you want to be remembered, leave a legacy of Love and kindness and not hate and betrayal. This year, almost every month, the world is losing a legend. And, once they are gone, it is totally unimportant what they have done professionally. All that we will remember is the emotions and feelings they created. The best example is THE Greatest Muhammad Ali. May he rest in peace and may people take an example of his exceptional personality and goals in Life. He used his voice for others until his last breath, despite his illness. It is not hard to be kind and selfless.

In Frost Magazine, you said you still feel like an outsider as an adult today. What makes you continue to feel this way, and what could authorities do to better integrate refugees and make them feel less as an outsider even after years of living in their country? Also, what can everyday folk do to help refugees and raise awareness of their plight?

Yes, I do feel as an outsider. Despite my Swiss citizenship, I still have to fight for acceptance. Regardless of what I do; in the eyes of Swiss people I’m not good enough. I still have to explain myself and apologize for my destiny as a refugee and as a foreigner in this country. That’s why I say: “Once a refugee, always a refugee. Once a foreigner, always a foreigner. “

The authorities and the folk should stop treating refugees/foreigners like criminals. They should stop punishing people like prisoners.  Discriminating people because of their look, race, nationality, skin colour, religion etc. is an emotional crime.

I was somewhat disappointed that the two images that represented what you felt as a refugee weren't in the online interview. Is it possible to share them here?

I love to share my work. Thank you for asking. Both drawings were done twenty years ago in 1996. The original size is 50X70 cm. One is expressing that my only hope to ever feel and find Freedom is death! And the other one is expressing how I felt as a Refugee in Switzerland. They both hang to this date in our living room.




Thank you for sharing your drawings, Lily. They are very special, but also, I think, a little disturbing, a reflection on the turmoil you've gone through, I suspect. I understand you're writing another two books about your experiences. Please tell us something more about them.

That’s right. Destination: Freedom is the first part of my trilogy. The follow-up story Definition of Freedom, which I published last year, is about the following years and the misery we went through, because of more bureaucracy and discrimination.

My mom and I lived in fear of deportation for the following years. We had to fight for acceptance and pure survival for almost two decades. So I missed out on Life. I really did. I feel as my whole childhood, teenager hood and adult hood was stolen only in order to be allowed to stay in Switzerland.  I was so busy with the bureaucracy nonsense that I have neglected the really essential and valuable things in life. When the government tells you to your face, after a decade, to either marry or leave the country, and you marry the wrong guy for the wrong reasons, your whole future is screwed.

Recently, someone who works in a government office told me something that is sad but true. She said we call the generation that experience war and becomes a refugee “The lost generation”. I am one of those lost generations. The fundament for a normal life was stolen once I became a refugee, and the result was predictable. After more than two decades of constant fight for acceptance and integration, I ended up having anxiety and depression. I never experienced true love, a caring and supportive partner, family, children or at least a career. This year I’m celebrating my round birthday and all I’m left with are my books.


So, I tell myself, all this mess must be good for something. Maybe sharing my story is my duty to bring awareness about delicate topics such as Refugees' fate, discrimination, depression, bullying: false and thoughtless people, who poison your soul with lies, cheats and betrayal to achieve their own goals at your cost.

Definition of Love” is going to be the last part of my trilogy. But I must admit that I’m struggling writing it because of recent events in my life that I’m still trying hard to adjust to.

So I put the script aside and in the last couple of months, I was working on the second part of my children’s book – series. “Bon Voyage - Monsieur Jac & Lily travel to Europe” is going to be available in August 2016. Lily and Monsieur Jac will discover the beauty of the European cities and even have afternoon Tea with her majesty, Queen Elizabeth in Buckingham Palace on her ninetieth birthday. They also do a sightseeing tour throughout London with Prince George and Princess Charlotte.

Another exciting project I’m working on right now is my first Fiction book “America’s Royal Family”. I’m doing colorful Illustrations these days. Publishing this book with a provocative cover is kind of a trial for my long-term work as an Indie-Author. The story is reflecting the stupidity of our superficial society and I wouldn’t be surprised if I get more attention and readers with this book than with Destination: Freedom and Definition of Freedom. A funny and sweet story that turns out to be not as superficial and stupid as expected.


Do you have any plans to go back to your home country to live?

No. Never! Home country is where your house is and where you feel loved. A place where you are surrounded by your family. Unfortunately, my beloved grandparents have both passed away. The other one live across the globe. Unfortunately, war not only separates families physically but in away also emotionally. Also after living outside of my birth country for over three decades I feel more as a foreigner than home when I go back there for visit. But I also don’t feel at home in Switzerland. Never did, never will. So I don’t really know what home country means or feels like. I lost it when I was ten. And to be honest I have given up on the idea and desire of ever finding it again. 

I'm so sorry that you're life has been so hard since you left Tehran, Lily. And that you haven't felt accepted and welcomed is truly a sad state of affairs. But, I have to ask you, have you had any periods of happiness amongst all that unhappiness? Has it all been bad?

Yes, thank God we had moments of happiness. The first time we really felt Happy was when we felt FREE after fifteen years of being imprisoned in Switzerland and were finally allowed to return back to our home country. In the following years my mom and I travelled allot and each holiday was periods of happiness. It’s all written in my book “Definition of Freedom”. The highlights of all were our stays in America. We fell in Love with New York. In Europe London is the city where we feel home. Actually as soon as we leave Switzerland where we (still) feel unappreciated and unaccepted we are happy.


I remember once we were in London visiting a castle where they asked us where we come from and when I said Swiss and we entered the Castle my mom and I were officially introduced as “The Queen and Princess of Switzerland”. That was hilarious! Lily Amis


It’s ironic how people treat you differently outside of your new country just based on your passport. Showing the Swiss passport is like having an Academic title from Oxford or Cambridge University. I remember once we were in London visiting a castle where they asked us where we come from and when I said Swiss and we entered the Castle my mom and I were officially introduced as “The Queen and Princess of Switzerland”. That was hilarious! :-) Beside traveling music, Live concerts and Musicals are an injection of happiness for us.

Thank you for all your open and heartfelt answers, Lily. I'm sure others will find it as interesting and moving topic as I do, and I hope that you find peace with it all one day. Finally, where can people find you? 

Buy the MEMOIR: 

Destination Freedom   

THE STOLEN YEARS IN ZURICH

Twitter: @nassimadesignYoutube: sndesign2011

Website: www.LilyAmis.comBlog: LilyAmis.blogspot.com