Last week, I heard about the prayer and mourning of school students in Iraq, on the soules of two of their friends who drowned with their family during their journey to Europe. It was really painful and sad news that may circulate every now and then. Several times I ask myself questions like: why did these people stake their lives on such risky journeys?
The journey begins in their home countries where they may face persecutions, displacement or kidnapping, and the threat of being killed. They usually did not live normal lives there. I can imagine how they count their dreadful moments until being able to flee from the horror. How all these things affect them and their children, and may leave traumas that cannot be healed over time.
Then they hit the road towards a safe, peaceful haven. They go over huge stormy seas to reach their destination. Sometimes they meet gangs who try to take valuable things from them – maybe their organs, or even their own lives. They spend days swimming, walking, running on their bare feet, sleeping outdoors, with no or little food. They challenge the geographic nature and bad weather conditions, and may sometimes meet bad people.
After all that, if they reach Europe safe and sound, they will be more than lucky, especially if a country will accept them as residents. However, not all immigrants who come here seek a safe place to live. Some people imagine Europe as a heaven of comfort and fun, and they have other purposes, so their dreams are broken down in the first moment of arrival.
One of the immigrants,