Age: 14

City/Country of origin: Weert, The Netherlands

Marital Status: Single

Children: 0

Profession: Student secondary school

Hobbies: Drawing

Reason for staying on Lesvos: Holiday with my mum and dad and brother

My mood today (1-10): 9

Why? Because it's a nice and beautiful day

My advice for the world: Where ever you are in this world, you will always find something beautiful.




Age: 24

City/country of origin: Aleppo, Syria

Marital Status: Married

Children: 0

Profession: -

Hobbies: Archeology

Reason for staying on Lesvos: Transit

My mood today (1-10): 9

Why? I was welcomed by warm and friendly people on the island.

My advice for the world: That there is no war anymore and that we all may be happy. 




Birvan and Annemarijn met one another on the same coast where Birvan had arrived earlier that day with the rubber boat on the crossing from Turkey.  Even though she was doing her best to be tough, we could all see how frightening she had found it to be.  ‘The sea is really treacherous,’ Birvan said.  She looked out across the immense great blue area next to her.  Annemarijn looked with her.  ‘Well, that looks very scary to me,’ Annemarijn then said.  Birvan had to laugh, the conversation had begun.

‘Did you come all by yourself?’ Annemarijn asked.  ‘No,’ Birvan replied, ‘I came here along with my husband. But I had to leave my mother behind in Istanbul; she is too old to make this journey.  I hope that we will one day we will be together again.’ 

It was never the intention to leave Syria.  But her city had become unliveable. Where Aleppo, once was the economic heart of Syria, and counted before the war 2.7 million residents there were now just some 400,000 and the number decreased daily.  Birvan had to break off her studies while she enjoyed it so very much. She fled with her husband and family to Turkey. 

But when a chance to study and have a normal future seemed impossible in Turkey, they decided to make the crossing to Europe. 

‘What would you like to study when you are older?’ Birvan asked.  ‘I am not really sure,’ Annemarijn said, ‘and you?’ ‘I want to continue with my studies in archaeology,’ Birvan said, ‘it seems to be a nice profession.  My dream is to be an archaeologist in Syria.’

There was a moment of silence.  Then Annemarijn said: ‘what I notice when I look at you is that I see a very strong girl; you don’t look like you have fled.’ A brief, shy smile.  ‘I have to be strong,’ Birvan then said, ‘we do not want people to feel sorry for us.’ ‘But what do you see when you look at me?’ Annemarijn asked.  ‘When I look at you I see optimism and safety.  Here today on the island I have met warm and friendly people and you are one of them.’

A month later we happily saw on the Facebook page of her husband that he and Birvan had safely arrived in Germany.  In a village in the neighbourhood of Dortmund they await their procedure.