Syria 30 Apr 2015 12:32
Majd Bayoush is a 22-year-old who fled his hometown of Kafranbel in north Syria with the aim of smuggling himself into Europe. After a perilous and complicated journey that lasted for nearly three months, he reached Germany, where he is waiting for the final procedures before he is granted political asylum.
The following is his story as told to Transterra Media.
I arrived to the port city of Izmir, Turkey on September 22, 2014. On the same day, I took an inflatable boat with 47 other migrants and sailed to the Greek island of Samos. We reached our destination after 2.5 hours. The boat deflated and sank after it hit the rocky shore.
We had agreed with the smuggler Abu Abdu, a Syrian man nicknamed ‘the Tiger’, to surrender to the Greek police once we reach the island. Before leaving Turkey, I deposited 8,000 euros at a money transfer office called ‘al-Saeed’ controlled by the smuggling gang. [This transfer company has offices in other countries.] Abu Abdu took 2,500 euros out of that sum.
We climbed a mountain on the island of Samos and reached a police station, where policemen confiscated all our possessions, including our mobile phones, and detained us for three days. On Sept. 25, the police authorities placed us below the deck in a cruise boat, which headed to an island near Samos. I do not know its name. There was a camp that held other captured illegal migrants who were Afghans, Asians and Palestinians. However, most of them were Syrians.
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