It’s become one of the defining themes of our age – a tidal wave of humanity in search of sanctuary. Whether refugees from war and repression or migrants escaping poverty, in recent years millions have taken to the road in the hope that safety and a better life lie elsewhere.
Some manage it, some don’t, but almost every journey is also a remarkable narrative; of hardship and loss, risk and endurance, of hurdles faced and sometimes – but not always – overcome.
Over consecutive episodes of People & Power, we are bringing you one such narrative, about one such attempt.
In the summer of 2015, two young Syrians, Dirar Khattab and Milad Georges, paid a people smuggler to let them board a miniscule boat setting out across the eastern Mediterranean. They were just a tiny part of the extraordinary surge of men, women and children who have been forced to flee their homes by the violence and turmoil of the Syrian conflict – over 11 million people since 2011
Their aim, like so many others, was to try and reach Germany, which that year had thrown open its frontiers in an extraordinary altruistic gesture to refugees from wars in the Middle East. But first they had to survive a treacherous sea crossing and a fraught, obstacle-strewn, overland trek of some two thousand kilometres.
Their story is a parable for our times.
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