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Rabia* and Mohamed* never thought the war in Syria would reach their village. They lived a quiet life with their young son away from the mayhem going on in the cities. Rabia was expecting their second child, a daughter, when the war showed up at their doorstep.
"Before the war in Syria our lives were fine. But when the war came, everything became very difficult. All of the systems and organizations in the town fell to the extremists. All the schools changed and all the cities started to fall apart," Rabia said. "We didn't know who was fighting whom anymore. We had to leave because of our children. We had no other option."
Rabia, Mohamed, their son Abdul*, two, and their daughter Yasmin*, four months, eventually left Syria for Turkey. From Turkey they traveled to Greece. The journey was long and difficult.
"The first time we tried to get a boat to Greece, a person drowned so we had to turn back," Rabia said. "When we got back to Turkey, we were arrested and put in jail."
They were released and able to make the trip from Turkey to Greece.
"It took us eight hours to get to Greece. It was extremely cold. Everything was wet. The babies were ill. We had life jackets but everything was so soaked with water that we were sinking. We threw our bags off the boat to stop it from sinking more."
Soaked, afraid, and without any possessions, but grateful to be alive, they arrived in Greece. They plan to take the train to Croatia and eventually make their way to Germany, where they can start over and their children can have a normal life.
"We need our children to have a life. The best thing for our children is peace. They need to live."
*Names have been changed for protection