Age: 50

City/Country of origin: Aleppo, Syria

Marital status: Married

Children: 4

Profession: Restaurant manager

Hobbies: Sport

Reason for staying on Lesvos: On my way to Germany

My mood today (1-10): 5

Why: I'm happy that i arrived safely today on Lesvos with the rubber boat, but I feel sad because I miss my family intense. They are still in Turkey.

My advice for the world: I hope to remove the negative picture  about refugees everywhere. We are polite people.





City/Country of origin:

Marital Status: Married




Reason for staying on Lesvos: Holiday

My mood today (1-10):


My advice for the world:




Mohamad was once the manager of an Oriental restaurant in Aleppo, but after his house lay completely in ruins and he had escaped death for the third time he decided that he could no longer tempt fate. Despite the great desire to remain in Syria, it was no longer possible.

Along with his wife and three children he fled to Turkey, but once there they discovered that it would be impossible for them as a Kurdish family to rebuild their lives.  And so the decision was made that Mohamad would make the crossing to Greece along with his daughter and two sons.  Because there was only enough money for three people to make the crossing, his wife and a son stayed behind in Istanbul.

We met him few hours after his crossing by boat and he talked with Jan from Weert in the Netherlands about his life.  With the goodbyes from his wife and son still fresh in his mind he was very emotional. 

Jan showed understanding in a very caring manner. ‘We do not often stop to think about how things are in your country.’ Jan said, ‘but now that I can hear you it hits home. We are here with our family on holiday and your family has been torn apart.’ 

‘After everything that we have been through it doesn’t matter to me in which country in Europe I end up,’ Mohamad said, ‘as long as it is humane there. I so want to feel like a human being again.’

Three weeks later we saw on Facebook that Mohamad and his children had arrived safely in Bremen in Germany.

At the end of September we received a WhatsApp which said that his wife and son would be making the crossing. Just in time because the weather was getting colder.  The family did not feel safe in Turkey, and due to the waiting lists in Germany any hope of a quick family reunification had vanished.  Happily that trip also went well. The entire family was back together again.

At the end of the conversation on that warm summer’s evening Jan said: ‘If you are ever in the neighbourhood of Weert, come and drink an espresso with us.’ ‘Another drink is also good!’ Mohamad said grinning.  

They wrote down each other’s telephone numbers and said goodbye.  We hope that there is a nice cold drink for Mohamad in Jan’s refrigerator.