Syrian refugees, Athens. Greece



Syrian refugees, Greece, Turkey

‘Life in exile has been harrowing for each of them. After fleeing Syria with the rest of their family in the summer of 2012, they turned to smugglers and made six perilous attempts to enter Greece, repeatedly risking their lives at sea and being turned back to Turkey. Fewaz and Malak finally reached safety, but along the way they were separated from the rest of their loved ones’.

Fewaz’s family belong to the Kurdish-speaking Yazidi minority in Syria. Back home, he farmed his land, Malak and his siblings attended school, and the family lived in peace. But after the conflict broke out, incursions and street battles eventually made their lives “a living hell,” Fewaz says. Driven from their own country, they fled to Turkey in July 2012 with hopes of making it to Europe.

“My life in Syria was so nice,” young Malak recalls with a forlorn smile. “I had school and friends and we would play. The atmosphere was great. We would go on trips to see relatives. But once the fighting started everything became frightening.”

Malak was the first to make it through the Evros border crossing into Greece. Fewaz, his wife and their two other children were not so lucky.

Fewaw and his son Malak is part of the work about Syrian refugees for UNHCR, you can view the full essay and video on