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A rubber boat carrying around 50 migrants and refugees arrives from Bodrum in Turkey to the Greek island of Kos in the early hours of the morning. Human traffickers charge USD/EUR 1,000-1,300 per person for a trip on a small/medium rubber boat. (Photo: Christopher Jahn/IFRC)

My tragic trip

Read Sarah’s own account of her escape from Syria crossing the Mediterranian Sea

By Sarah

There are a lot of people who are struggling to stay alive every day during the war in Syria, with only one question in mind: How can I escape from the death? I will write about my journey, from when I couldn’t continue to live in my country, because of the war and the many bloody sights of soldiers, guns, arrestings and killings. I remember walking to my school when I received a threat. And do you know why? Because I stayed neutral in the conflict. It was after this incident we decided to emigrate to a safe country.
Maybe you can imagine the feeling I had when I found myself without anywhere to go. Without any direction.
We came out of Syria to Lebanon November last year and I remember we stayed in Lebanon a few hours.
Hereafter  we were transferred to Turkey. I found myself as in the middle of darkness, like in a forest at night. Life didn’t have taste. Even though I felt guilt in this moment, for leaving my country, I had no other choice because of the war.
We tried after that to find somebody who could help us pass the sea and take us to Greece, and we actually found someone.  After seven days this man called us and told us he was ready to help.

A large number in a rubber boat
We sat in a van for many hours because what we were doing was illegal and we had to avoid the police. Finally, we found ourself on the beach at 4 o’clock in the morning. There was no sun when we moved to the rubber boat. I don’t want to be a liar, it was very frightening. Especially when I saw how many people were going with us. But what could we do? We knew that it was a bad and insecure situation. If there was any other way, of course, we would not run this risk.

Frightening in the middle of the sea
We started to move away from the beach. No one looked at each other in the boat. All of us felt that we were going to die. The babies were crying. It was terrible.
After half an hour the boat-driver destroyed the boat and decided to turn back to Turkey. Nobody understood why. Then the boat started to sink, a lot of people cried and men shouted at each other.
In this second I looked at my sister and saw her tremble. I didn’t know what to do. I thought for a moment that I should swim, that I needed to try, but my father caught me in this second.
No one can imagine this suffering. Everyone was frightened.
After two hours a big fishing boat came and saved us from the middle of the sea, and took us back to the Turkish port. When we arrived we found the Turkish police waiting there and they made us wait inside a steamship without blankets and without any food. It was very cold.

Prison and deadly cold
If you wanted to have any idea of the feelings in this moment you just had to look at the children’s faces. After one hour somebody with us told us that two babies were dead because of the cold weather. After hearing this everyone went silent and passed a long moment of horror. Everybody was in shock. Nobody understood what had happened and why. All of us had many many questions but no one had the courage to ask the police anything.
After six hours they put us in prison. We stayed in the prison for eight days. 100 people. Without blankets. It was cold. It was November. After that they let us try crossing again.

Today I’m in Denmark
The next crossing was successful. And now I am finally here in Denmark. I hope that I in the future can help other refugees to cross the Mediterranean without the same suffering.

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