The strangers among us

Deborah Meroff

Xenos 01-08-2013 16-55-03“It’s a miracle that we made it,” Amira* told me. She explained how she and her husband had scraped up 50,000 US dollars for people smugglers to get them and their two children out of Iraq, to a safe place. “At many points I thought we would die. My husband says if he’d known what would happen, he’d never have risked his family’s lives. But every day there are more bombs and more people dying. Everyone is desperate, sick and tired of war. That is why people like us pay every penny they have to leave, to give their children hope for the future. We had to do it for our kids.”

Like most people I had heard some of the horror stories about people-trafficking. But sitting across from Amira in OM’s Xenos centre in Germany and watching her emotion as she described her family’s traumatic, three-month flight to freedom…

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