Lamar, 5 years old
Horgos, Serbia. Back home in Baghdad, the dolls, the toy train, and the ball are left; Lamar often talks about these items when home is mentioned. The bomb changed everything. The family was on its way to buy food when it was dropped close to their house. It was not possible to live there anymore, says Lamar’s grandmother, Sara. After two attempts to cross the sea from Turkey in a small, rubber boat, they succeeded in coming here to Hungary’s closed border. Now Lamar sleeps on a blanket in the forest, scared, frozen, and sad.
Mahdi, 1,5 years old
Horgos/Roszke. Mahdi is one and one half years old. He has only experienced war and flight. He sleeps deeply despite the hundreds ofhumans climbing around him. They are protesting against not being able to travel further through Hungary. On the other side of the border, hundreds of police are standing. They have orders from the Primary Minister Viktor Orbán to protect the border at every cost. The situation is becoming more desperate and the day after the photo is taken, the police use tear gas and water cannons on the humans.
Abdul Karim, 17 years old
Athen, Greece. Abdul Karim Addo has no money left. He bought a ferry ticket to Athens for his last euros.
Now he spends the night in Omonoia Square, where hundreds of humans are arriving every day. Here, smugglers are making big money arranging false passports as well as bus and plane tickets to people in flight – but Abdul Karin is not going anywhere. He is able to borrow a telephone and call home to his mother in Syria, but he is not able to tell her how bad things are.
“She cries and is scared for my sake and I don’t want to worry her more.”
He unfolds his blanket in the middle of the square and curls up in the fetal position.
Ahmad, 7 years old
Horgos/Roszke. Even sleep is not a free zone; it is then that the terror replays. Ahmad was home when the bomb hit his family’s house in Idlib. Shrapnel hit him in the head, but he survived. His younger brother did not. The family had lived with war as their nearest neighbor for several years, but without a home, they had no choice. They were forced to flee. Now Ahmad lays among thousands of other humans on the asphalt along the highway leading to Hungary’s closed border. This is day 16 of their flight. The family has slept in bus shelters, on the road, and in the forest, explains Ahmad’s father.