Muhsen has no parents, no siblings, no wife, and no children. He left Syria in November 2014 by himself.

His parents divorced when he was young, and his paternal grandfather took him from his mother. His grandfather often told little Muhsen, “Your mom let you go,” even though she tried to see him many times.

When Muhsen was 18, his maternal aunt took him to meet his mother without his grandfather knowing. Because his aunt didn’t ask him if he wanted to meet her, didn’t say she was taking him to see her, Muhsen found his surprise overtaken by rage. “It’s not true that you just hug, like in movies,” he says. “She was a stranger.”

Nearly three decades have changed his reaction. “I would kiss her hand, and I don’t know what after that.” She died in 2005. He says he wished he had lived with her.

Friends in the refugee camp tell Muhsen it’s too late to get married. The worst part about being alone is seeing children playing in parks, calling out to their moms and dads.

Known by his artist name, Becan, which means “without a soul,” he plays the electric biziq and sings. “My voice is suitable for sad songs,” he says.