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Emira’s story

Emira is a resident of Nea Kavala Refugee camp. She has been living here for nearly one year. It has been close to two years since she made the journey across the waters from Turkey to Greece with her four young sons, Mohammed, Hamed, Hassan and Rhudi.

By: Amber Vandam Photo: Illustration photos

Emira said making the decision to take the journey was the hardest choice she has made in her life. She is just 29 years old, her boys are 8, 6, 5, and 4. It was a hard decision for many reasons – her children were young, Rhudi was just a baby, and the crossing was dangerous. She would be leaving behind the rest of her family and leaving behind her home. The decision became easier when her husband was killed in Syria. She knew that anything had to be better for her children – she wanted them to be safe. So they left for Europe.

After three failed attempts of crossing, could they at the fourth attempt finally set their feet’s on the Island of Samos. When asked about the future, Emira is positive – knowing that her sons are now safe from harm, and have better opportunity to grow up in a happier environment. The most important thing to her is that her son’s get an education. She pushes them each day to go to classes for maths, science, writing, and languages they are all learning Greek and English. The boys don’t get to play until they have shown her their homework is completed!

Mohammed is a shy and caring boy, he loves animals and playing guitar – one day he wants to become a famous musician. Hamed is energetic and boisterous, he loves to build things, and is always taking apart and rebuilding things. Hassan and Rhudi are the best of friends, and are always walking hand in hand wherever they go. Someday Emira wants to take her boys back to Syria, so that they can see their home country, but she says she will never do that until it is safe, and for now, she wants her boys to love Greece like it is their new home, to grow up respecting themselves and all others, and someday raise their own children.

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