Through Abdullah’s Eyes
The war in Syria has completely destroyed many towns. Nearly half a million people have been killed and many more are missing. Humanitarian efforts have come up short in being able to aid all the victims.
This film is based on a series of events that took place between February 2016 and August 2017. A brilliant young man by the name of Abdullah al Jaber was protecting his family from the Syrian military when he was arrested. Abdullah spent six months in jail where he was beaten and tortured repeatedly for no good reason.
Along with many others, he saw leaving Syria as the only way to survive. And so he fled with his family and landed in Turkey. Things were difficult there, so he decided to leave his loved ones behind and try to make it into Greece and then Germany in search for a better life. Of course there were smugglers who took advantage of this desperation and were charging up to $800 per person to transport them on a boat from Turkey to Greece.
Abdullah arrived on the island of Lesvos but was not allowed to leave as he had expected because the borders were closed. He was sent to the Idomeni refugee camp where he had to live with close to ten thousand refugees in facilities that had been built to house only one thousand. There was hardly any food, no showers, and no hope of improvement.
When the refugees tried to cross into Macedonia, they were shot at with tear gas and forced to run back. Frustration and anger were building and many wished they were back in Syria where they would at least be able to die in familiar surroundings instead of wasting away in tents.
Eventually the camp at Idomeni was cleared out because winter was coming and the refugees were sent to wait at different sites. They were still lacking jobs and a life, but at least these camps were less crowded. Finally they were told that their paperwork was complete and they could apply for asylum in eight different countries.
Abdullah had learned English from the volunteers and so he decided he wanted to go to Ireland. After a year he was finally leaving the camps. And even though the future continued to be uncertain, at least he was no longer stuck. Listen to his story now.