Journey To Turkey

Baby Hamoudi. He’s adorably cuddly, aren’t all babies. He travelled from Syria to Turkey with his family, a dangerous journey which took weeks and cost a lot of money, paid to smugglers. We came to welcome the family’s arrival and see Hamoudi’s grandmother, Bashkan, who had been here waiting anxiously for her daughter and family’s arrival.

Now the family was reunited, all together. Being introduced, I immediately felt Bashkan’s relief. It had been a stressful wait.

On our last visit here a few weeks prior, Bashkan received a call from her daughter. They had been caught attempting to cross the border into Turkey. Ending the call, Bashkan lit a cigarette and poured us more çai. I didn’t know what to say.

For the next 15 days Bashkan’s daughter, husband and baby Hamoudi slept rough between the trees somewhere near the border. They had nothing with them. They left everything behind.

Bashkan’s family come from the far north eastern part of Syria of Hasakah. This region has been caught in a terrible war zone of fighting between different groups.

This is the headline we all know.

But behind headlines such as this, there are people like baby Hamoudi and Bashkan’s family. People who have lost everything and risked everything to escape their homes and lives to safety.

On this visit we brought the family a baby bed, more blankets and supplies. As much as these small items were needed and appreciated, it feels like only a bandaid fix. I don’t know what to say. I wish there was more we could do.