On International Migrants Day, Hamsa told us his story:
„I am a young man from Kobane, Syria. I grew up in a middle class family. All my father wanted was for me to achieve my dream in becoming a judge to defend the oppressed. I am a Syrian Kurd and Kurds have always been oppressed. This was my motivOn international #MigrantsDay, let Hamsa* tell his story:
„I am a young man from Kobane, Syria. I grew up in a middle class family. All my father wanted was for me to achieve my dream in becoming a judge to defend the oppressed. I am a Syrian Kurd and Kurds have always been oppressed. This was my motive. After finishing high school, I managed to join the Law Faculty at Aleppo University. Unfortunately, the war came so fast crushing my dreams of becoming a judge. I woke up to find myself a refugee without a home and threatened by Islamist and extremist groups which raided my small beautiful city and forced me and my family to leave our home and country. That is when the miserable and painful experience of migration started. I left my country and entered Turkey on a moonless night and started my life of displacement. In Turkey, the Kurds are incredibly oppressed. There, I found neither safety nor the basic needs to support myself. On the way, I met a woman who comes from the same town. Together, we decided to face our fate, the same fate that saw us leaving our war-torn country. We decided to take the dangerous trip with a boat to get to safety, where we can have a new start, this time together. At the Turkish city of Bodrum, we paid money to a group of men that promised to take us to the island of Kos. At 8 pm, these men took us with a group of 27 men, women and children to a mountainous area close to the shore. We were shocked to find out that the boat, which is going to take us to safety, is incredibly small. It was clear to us that it was a suicide mission. However, these men had guns and they forced everyone to jump on board that tiny boat. After that terror, we started the horrifying trip towards inevitable death. After one hour, the engine stopped working. Everyone was panicking while stuck on a boat in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by water and with no human activity in sight. We accepted reality, we were going to die. Until a group of volunteers on board of a ship called Sea-Watch came for rescue. We believed that they are a group of angels sent from heaven in response to everyone’s prayers and cries. They saved our lives. Not only us. They have saved the lives of thousands of people fleeing ugly wars. With the help of Sea-Watch, we finally made it to the Greek island of Kos, where we were investigated by Greek Coast Guards. I looked at my watch to see it was 5 am.“
The Sea-Watch crews have kept in touch with a few of those rescued that night. Most of them have faced harsh conditions in the Greek camps or on their way to reunite with their families. Hamsa’s real name cannot be revealed, as he and his wife are still in the process of claiming asylum. The last sentence of his text in arabic was: ….وقد كانت ليلة مرعبة تفقدة ساعتي كانت 5 صباحا وهناك بدأت الخفر اليوناني بتحقيق معنا وبقينا جالسين على رصيف ميناء حتى ساعة 8 صباحا كنت أظن أنها أصعب ليلة في حياتي ولكن كنت مخطئ “I thought it was the most horrible night of my life, but I was mistaken.”
On #MigrantsDay, we demand #SafePassage and a humane asylum process for all those who had to leave their homes!
Translation: Osama Abdullah
Foto: Theresa Leisgang