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Syrian Refugees: Ready to Move On

by Sarah Austria | Mar 21, 2016

The children, ages 4, 6, and 11, scrambled and stumbled on the grueling trek through the mountains of Turkey with their parents, Syrian refugees Omar and Amina. 

The children complained - it was an almost impossible journey for them, and arduous for the rest of the group. They were a long way from home and far from the end of their travels.

Once on the Turkish coast, refugees put their fates in the hands of smugglers to carry them by boat to the shores of Greece

Like so many Syrian refugees fleeing the turmoil of their country, Omar and Amina were forced to spend their entire savings in the hopes of finding safety in Europe. The family left their home outside Damascus to travel to Lebanon. From there they were able to fly to Istanbul, where their journey became increasingly difficult. The exhausting hike through the mountains to the Turkish coast was followed by a boat trip to Greece.

Omar and Amina’s story is an all too common one. The Syrian conflict has reached the five-year mark.  4.8 million Syrians have been forced to flee to neighboring countries, and another 6.6 million have been displaced within Syria.  

Like so many Syrian refugees fleeing the turmoil of their country, Omar and Amina were forced to spend their entire savings in the hopes of finding safety in Europe.

As of March 1.9 million Syrian refugees have registered in Turkey.  Many of them, like Omar and Amina’s family, have decided to push on to seek more permanent homes in Europe. Since January 1, 2015 over 1 million people have traveled from Turkey to Greece by land and sea. 

Once on the Turkish coast, refugees put their fates in the hands of smugglers to carry them by boat to the shores of Greece. It’s a dangerous crossing - overloaded inflatables, dinghies or other boats that often aren’t seaworthy. Last year alone 3,771 people drowned or went missing trying to reach safety in Europe. Those that arrive safely in Greece are met with ongoing challenges.

Greece_Syrian_refugees_Omar_Amina_children
Fleeing violence, this family was exhausted upon arriving in Greece. Thanks to you, Omar & Amina's children were able to get much-needed rest and medical supplies before continuing on their dangerous journey to find safety.

Thankfully, Omar and Amina’s family made the crossing to Greece safely. There the children improved a bit and began to play.  The trip had, however, taken a toll on the family. They were tired, hungry, dehydrated - and in need of medical care and supplies. Thanks to your support Omar and Amina and thousands of other refugee families in Greece are receiving the medical care and supplies they need before moving on to find a new home. They are hopeful, though unsure where their journey will end.

The sacrifices made by Syrian refugees demonstrate the severity of their situation - and the strength of their dreams.