Farah and Adnan's Story

Farah Adnan Refugee Crisis

Save the Children has chosen to portray children without showing their faces, as a way of protecting their identity. Photo: Hedinn Halldorsson/Save the Children


Farah* and Adnan* led a comfortable, successful life in Syria. They had a large house overlooking the city where they lived with their two children, Fathi*, 3, and Zeinah*, 1. Farah was hoping to return to school to continue her education, which she put on hold after having her first child, and Adnan, an Arabic teacher, was pursuing a law degree. Their large, tight-knit family – Adnan has 8 sisters and 5 brothers and Farah has a large family as well – all lived nearby.

Then their house was seized by fighters because of its location. Soon after that is was destroyed. They were homeless and nearby cities were under attack. Before the bombings could start in their city, Farah and Adnan made the choice to leave their home in order to keep their children safe.

"My children were born in the city and my whole family lived there, but we had to flee to Turkey during one of the outbreaks of fighting," said Farah. "If we hadn’t left when we did we would have been killed along with so many other people. We left Syria at the right time."

Farah, Adnan and their children stayed in Turkey for one year before making the short but treacherous journey to Kos, Greece. Farah thought they would die on the boat there, and when they arrived they were often not treated well in their hotels and had to keep moving around. Farah estimates they spent almost $1,400 on hotel rooms their first week in Kos.

Spending money on hotels is not their only worry though. Both of their children desperately need to see a doctor.

"No one knows what is wrong with my son," Farah said. "His eyes are always inflamed, he has a sore throat and every night his nose bleeds. My baby [Zeinah] also needs a doctor as she is bow legged and needs her legs corrected."

Save the Children is giving Fathi and Zeinah the emotional and psychical support they need, but their journey is far from over. Farah and Adnan are soon leaving Greece to make their way to Germany, a nearly 2,000 mile trek. Farah is just ready to find a place to call home.

"I want to believe we can have a secure and peaceful life again."


*Names have been changed to protect identities

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