A warm shower
He plants a kiss on my head out of sheer joy, gives thanks and calls. He is still shaking from the frightening and emotional journey from Turkey to Greece, by rubber boat. On the beach of Lesbos, he comes ashore: soaked and freezing. He is very grateful that he and his family are allowed to take a shower. He is the owner of a renowned law firm in Damascus, Syria, and has been travelling to Europe with his wife and daughter for weeks, at the mercy of people-traffickers. In Syria, he has houses and even vacation homes, but here, on Lesbos, he sleeps on the street.
One day later, I see the Syrian family walking 44 miles to the capital, Mytilini, and give them a ride. In Mytilini, they join a long ‘queue’ of waiting people.
He hopes to get permission to travel north very soon, and is determined to travel to the Netherlands, even though his son already lives in Germany.
But, as soon as the war in Syria is over, I will return to Damascus and you will always be welcome there, he says. I’ll see you in Syria!
See also: Rubberboot vol grenzeloze vreugde
And read: I will never forget
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