The story of the Syrian family we have onboard now. Father, mother and two children.
His name is M. from Syria (name is changed for security reasons).
“We are from Syria, but life is impossible there.
I have two sons and even the schools are not safe. They are a target for bombs. Sometimes armed men on motorcycles pass by and spread bullets to the windows of the schools. We were living in Damascus, when we had to escape as soon as possible. They were fights, kidnappings, people disappearing on daily basis. I sold my house for nothing and run away.
The day we left, many people were killed including the uncle of my wife. Many friends of mine were killed.
We arrived in Libya, where life was quiet for a period, and I started working in construction sites.
But soon, another war knocked on our door. The war in Libya is more fierce than ever. We had to flee again. My children cannot walk on the streets. There is no hospitals, or doctors. Everyday we hear about people getting killed.
It’s a total chaos in Libya. Different armies, different militias fighting each other.
We had to flee again. This time there was only one road open. That of the sea.
It was a dark night when the Libyans transfered us to a beach and ordered us to board this small fiberglass boat of 5 meters. I thought we would be 10-15 people but we were 43! It was impossible to travel like this.
The Libyans stacked us like animals and pushed us out in the sea under the threat of guns. They gave us a compass and said “just go north”.
Nobody knew how to drive, we were driving in shifts. As a result, we were doing a lot of zig-zags and we spent 2 days at sea without any sign of hope. The waves were big, the boat was extremely overloaded and the water was getting in. I thought “this is the end”.
All the people cut plastic bottles and started taking the water out of the boat.
And this is where you found us. I will never forget that day and will thank you eternally for this.
We just want to feel safe. We dont want to live in war, we want schools, education and a safe environment for my children.
The only way to achieve this is to get on that boat from Libya and cross hundreds of miles of open sea with my family.”