The Tobal Family.
I recently spent the day with Abdulrahman, Shindara and their beautiful children Brevan, 4 and Ahmed, 2.
They told me:
“We lived in Aleppo and left three years ago when the bombing increased. The regime and ISIS didn’t care if their attacks killed children and we were so scared to lose our daughter Brevan. She was only 1 at the time.
We fled to Turkey and found work and a place to stay. Whilst there we were blessed with the birth of Ahmed.
Shortly after, the situation in Turkey began to deteriorate. It became worse and worse to be a Syrian in Turkey. We worked as many hours as possible, but had to face the fact that Turkey wouldn’t be a safe place for our children to grow up, as the conflict between Turks and refugees became really bad.
It was on the 2nd of February that we reached Greece by boat. Reaching the shore, I was overwhelmed with thankfulness. I thought Brevan and Ahmed were finally safe, that we would soon be able to re-build a home and life for our family.
Then the borders were closed and we spent the winter in Idomeni camp. After spending almost 9 months here, we have just been given out first appointment at the asylum office. The appointment is on the 28th of April, 2017.
I get angry now when I hear organizations or governments claiming that children have rights here. We are in the midst of our second winter in a tent and we talk about how to get our children through all of this, shielding them so they won’t be damaged. I just don’t know if that is even possible.
It’s really difficult to explain life here. You can’t imagine it if you haven’t lived it yourself. If humanity is the aim, we would be able to go to Europe and re-build a life or be able to return to Syria to live the life we left behind. We are unsure if we will be kept here until governments decide to send us back anyway. All we want is safety for Brevan and Ahmed. That they are okay.”
Abdulrahaman became quiet, he said I’d like to add something:
“I feel as if we are being judged. I wish someone would talk to us before passing judgment on us. We are regular humans with ethics and morals. We don’t wish harm upon anyone. Is that what people think? That we are dangerous? I don’t know what to believe anymore.”