Maryam is a young Somali woman who lost her family in the civil war. She was facing many problems and difficulties and decided to travel to Europe. She reached Egypt, and in Alexandria she boarded a smugglers’ ship.
Abdelmejid fled the war in his native Libya by boat. He travelled to the beach and was locked in a house with others until the smugglers were sure the police wouldn’t catch them. Then they walked to their boat. Despite finding less fuel than they’d need for the journey, and none of the provisions they were told to expect, they set off.
At the university in Khartoum, Abbas became involved in political activities against the Sudanese regime, and after having been arrested and harassed by the police he decided to flee the country. He had a friend who had gone to Israel and was giving him advice on how to arrange the journey with a smuggler. Abbas took a plane to Cairo and from there the smuggler sent him to Sinai. It was a long journey, first by bus and then on a pickup truck.
Joy fled her village in Nigeria because of the constant violence and insecurity there. In the city she met a woman who promised to take her to Europe to work as a nursemaid, and she gladly accepted. They were supposed to travel by plane, and Joy was surprised when after a long journey she found herself in the desert. The woman told her they were in Libya and Joy had to continue travelling because she could not turn back.
Deborah left her home in Nigeria because her stepmother treated her badly. She wanted to become a fashion designer and when she met a man who promised to take her to Europe, she gladly accepted. It was a big surprise to her when after arriving in Libya, she was told that the journey stopped there, and she had to start working as a prostitute.
Dunia and Ahmed are a married couple from Yemen living in Egypt. When the war started, they decided to flee to avoid their children being recruited by one of the fighting parties. The journey to Egypt took a month. The sea crossing to Sudan was difficult, the boat was overloaded, and they had little food and water. The smugglers were brutal and were hitting anyone who complained. After spending some time in Khartoum, they continued towards Egypt on a pickup truck.
Issa felt he had no future in his native country Chad and decided to try to get to Europe through Libya. He knew that the situation in Libya was not what it had been before, when people went there to get employment and improve their lives. He had heard about kidnappings and violence, but he hoped that he would be able to cross over to Europe quickly.
Ayman and his family fled the war in Syria because they could no longer endure the insecurity and the daily bombings. They went to Lebanon and took a plane to Cairo. His parents were already there, and Ayman moved in with them. Then he heard stories about people managing to reach Europe on smugglers’ boats and his interest peaked.