Syrian parents with their children in their arms in Athens, leaving the ferry they travelled on from Kos. "I don’t want to look to the right of me because there is Turkey. And I don’t want to look to the left because there is the island of Kos. The only place to look is ahead, straight to Athens," Farah said.
Farah and Adnan's Story
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.
But the conflict in Syria tore their life apart. Because their home overlooked the city it was seized by fighters to use as a vantage point. Farah and Adnan found themselves homeless, with two small children, and the bombings were moving closer. They made the difficult decision to leave their home, their families and their community – 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. As refugees, 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 wasn’t their only worry. Both of the children desperately needed medical attention.
"My son’s eyes are always inflamed, he has a sore throat and every night his nose bleeds,” Farah said. “My baby also needs a doctor as she is bow legged and needs her legs corrected."
Save the Children is giving little Fathi* and Zeinah* the medical care and emotional support they need, but their journey is far from over. Farah and Adnan want to make their way to Germany, a nearly 2,000-mile trek. Farah desperately wants to find a place to call home.
"I want to believe we can have a secure and peaceful life again."
Save the Children is on the ground in Syria and is helping refugee communities throughout the region including, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey. We are providing refugee and displaced children and their families with food, emergency care, shelter, protection, clean water and clothes. Please donate now to the Syrian Children’s Relief Fund and don't let Syrian children become a lost generation.
*Names have been changed to protect identities
Thank you for signing up! Now, you’ll be among the first to know how Save the Children is responding to the most urgent needs of children, every day and in times of crisis—and how your support can make a difference. You may opt-out at any time by clicking "unsubscribe" at the bottom of any email.