Life after Syria: a migrants’ story – a print essay

4 min read

With migrants usually authorised one trek any on a smugglers’ boats that lift them from Turkey to Greece, Ahmed, his wife, Hanin, and her family packaged a few security and sent a rest of their effects to friends. Then they waited.

It should have been a defining impulse of a tour that began as Syria’s dispute escalated, forcing dual Palestinian families to rush their homes in a suburbs of a capital, Damascus. Hanin and her family left in 2014, and Ahmed dual years after for Turkey, where they were introduced in a winter of 2017.


  • Ahmed creates a phone call during a train stop during a 20-hour float from İzmir to Kilis to accommodate his fiancee for a initial time

Living in opposite cities, they exchanged content messages for months before Ahmed took a 20-hour train outing from İzmir – Turkey’s third largest city located on a Aegean Sea – to a limit city of Kilis to accommodate her, that led to their engagement.

They were fast swept adult in a flurry of matrimony preparations: acid for a ideal dress, struggling to handle income opposite Western Union offices, formulation a two-night party. Their rendezvous celebration was in Kilis, right opposite a limit from war-torn Syria



  • Top: Hanin leaves her friend’s unit in her matrimony dress prepared for her matrimony to Ahmed in İzmir. Above: Ahmed buys a matrimony rings; a integrate cut a cake.

More than 3.5 million Syrian refugees now live in Turkey as a outcome of a dispute that has raged given 2011. In 2015, some-more than 800,000 especially Syrian and Afghan migrants took to a seas off Turkey to make a brief yet hazardous outing to Greece. The numbers fell dramatically a subsequent year after a understanding between a European Union and Turkey to branch a exodus.


  • Night in Hilal, one a lowest areas in İzmir

Hanin’s younger brother, Hamza, was among those who left earlier, streamer to Germany 4 years ago. The family yearns to stop communicating around sketchy video calls and reunite in Europe. “All a grief for my son is in my heart,” pronounced Turki, Hamza and Hanin’s mother. She pronounced her diseased heart swelled on dreams of saying her son again.

Ahmed, who complicated English novel in Syria anticipating to spin a translator, worked 14-hour shifts during a weave bureau in İzmir, where a integrate changed after they married.


  • Ahmed, Hanin and her mom revisit a fritter emporium in Kilis

Hanin’s mom packaged nuts in a bureau while her father sole Syrian cigarettes. They directed to save $3,000 that they would need to make it to Greece, their initial stop on a approach to Germany. The family followed a Facebook organisation combined by volunteers in Greece, posting about nearing boats, accidents and continue conditions.

Every day, they listened and review stories of inclement waters causing accidents and of families drowning during sea since they didn’t have adequate income to buy life jackets.

“Maybe these are signs that we should not go,” Ahmed would infrequently contend in a lead-up to their 2018 attempt. “Every new problem is perplexing to contend something to us.” But he saw no choice yet to leave Turkey, since staying meant he would “keep operative in that bureau forever”.

Dozens of migrants have died during their tour around Turkey to Europe, according to reports by state-owned Anadolu Agency. Some drowned in a Aegean Sea, others died in car crashes, while many froze to genocide while perplexing to cranky borders on foot.



  • Top: Ahmed’s cash, set aside as partial of a remuneration for a smuggler. Above: Hanin’s father, Zuher, with his son Osama


  • A shopfront in İkiçeşmelik, İzmir

Finally, they packaged up, bought life jackets – a elementary yet unsure transaction that carries a probability of arrest. On their final night they went out for cooking with friends, afterwards waited nervously during home for a call to conduct to a beach. The sleepy children played with life jackets and showed off how they would float to a island. The adults concluded that if Hanin or her mom felt something was wrong, they would spin back. Ahmed stared during his phone.

At 11pm, a raider still had not called to tell them to conduct to a beach. They feared they had mislaid their income again yet he eventually called a few days later. They were driven to a beach, where they had to stand hills and transport by a timberland to strech their depart point. They piled into a vessel with 26 others and set off. The people on a tiny vessel were loud, so a Turkish coastguard found them, 20 mins divided from a border. They were driven to jail and hold for 3 days.



  • Top: Ahmed swims for a initial time in a Aegean sea. Above: Sunset in Konak

The family says they can try again with a same smuggler, for no additional fee, yet Ahmed is unhappy as he watches a clouds entertainment above a extinguishing waters. “I never felt worse,” he says. “So most thinking, and a charge is coming.”

A year later, a family still wants to pierce to Europe yet have created off a vessel route. They don’t wish to humour a prick of chagrin again, a insults in holding cells, a rubbish of their singular funds. Ahmed pronounced he would never go behind to Syria since a conditions has worsened, and since he would have to offer troops use and quarrel for boss Bashar al-Assad.


  • Hanin’s brothers, Osama and Mohammad

He says notwithstanding operative 12-hour days, 6 days a week, his income is not adequate to compensate rent, bills and food. The prolonged hours leave him exhausted, as does a injustice he says he sees on Turkey’s streets, on open ride and amicable media. “My dream today is to transport legally to Europe since we are really sleepy here,” he said.


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