Fleeing Bombs, Facing the Waves, Fearing the Future
An End to Life as They Knew It: “The War Is Eating Everything”
The Syrians and Egyptians on that boat, and the Palestinians who had lived in Syria, did tolerate it. Even so, they did not reach their intended destination; they were brought to Crete in Greece, leaving many separated from mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, sisters, or brothers. The seriously injured Hanan’s husband Samir ended up in Crete. Hanan and four of their children, ages 1 ½, 7, 14, and 23, were on another boat that began to sink, and they were taken to Malta. Samir told me his wife was informed that she and her sick toddler could only receive hospital care there if they first applied for asylum in the tiny island nation, where they have no desire to stay. (Is that not a human rights violation? I have asked someone at the UNHCR.) They want to go to Sweden or some other country with a good program to help refugees, a country that would allow surgery on her arm to save it from the amputation they fear could be necessary without prompt treatment. But Hanan and the children are stuck on one island, and Samir is stuck on another. Their married children are in Syria, Turkey, and Jordan. They don’t know what to do.
Unfinished Business: The State Has Still Not Paid for the Refugees’ Hotel Stay
Why Are They Stuck? Trouble with Smugglers and Laws
Solutions for the Syrians and Other Refugees?
Many thanks once again to the Syrian and Palestinian refugees as well as Ioannis Volikakis for discussing their situations with me.
For more about the Syrian and Palestinian refugees, see my last two blog entries and two videos produced by a local television station: