Abandoned at sea
Nour left Yemen after the war broke out and went to Egypt to follow in the footsteps of his friends who had crossed the sea from there to Europe. Nour was told the sea route was open, so he took his chances to make a better life for himself and his family. His mother encouraged him to go, believing like Nour that he would board a ship from Alexandria that he’d work on during the journey.
“There were no drugs. There were two sick children and they didn't get any medicine or anything. Their mother was crying and pleading, Just take me back to Cairo! They refused. They said she’d stay until the others leave.” Omar and other people were kept at a farm by smugglers.
“Water was flooding in from the back and from the front, the sailor himself when we reached Malta said he knew the boat was sinking but didn't want to scare us. He asked us to remain quiet, and so we did, he told us the boat is safe, the boat is safe...” Hanan and Mohieddin were on board a small smugglers’ boat in the Mediterranean Sea when a storm blew up. They were rescued at the last minute. Watch their story!
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.