Ameer, Ahmad & Rant
About a month ago, Ameer, a 28-year-old mother from Aleppo, Syria, found out that her family was eligible for relocation to Germany.
Ameer left her hometown of Aleppo together with her husband Ahmad and 4-year-old daughter, Rant, to escape war – her mother is still trapped there. On March 13, 2016 they arrived by a rubber boat on the island of Chios and soon they ended up at the Diavata camp near Thessaloniki, where the family spent 3 months, hoping that the border would open. After applying for asylum, Ameer and her family moved to an apartment and got into the relocation programme of the European Union, implemented by the IOM. It was during the IOM’s medical tests that they discovered that Ahmad suffers from a serious heart condition. Ahmad, a carpenter, has been complaining about chest pain when in Thessaloniki, but at the local hospital he was reassured that it was nothing to worry about. Ameer believes that it’s the war and the hardships of being a refugee that took a toll on her 31-year-old husband’s heart.
Now, Ameer’s priority is her husband’s heart surgery: “at the hospital here in Athens, they proposed that Ahmad would have the operation here but we opted for Germany, since we’re moving there anyway”. Germany is the “holy grail” for the majority of Syrian refugees but Ameer is not among them: “to be honest, I wanted to go to Sweden to continue my studies in biology”. She’s yet to know in which city she’ll start her new life: “we’ll find out today, during the cultural orientation session. All I want is to go there, get my husband back to health, learn the language and get a job”. Ameer didn’t waste any time while in Greece: she took Greek language classes (she’s already fluent in English) and she even got to work with ‘Time’ magazine while they were covering a story on Greece: “I did translation work for them but then I got more and more involved. I really liked it and hopefully the experience will help me get a job in Germany”.
Through the EU Relocation Programme, the International Organization for Migration in Greece (IOM) supports the Government of Greece in relocating with safety and dignity asylum seekers to other EU Member States of Relocation (MSR). The Programme is funded by the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund of the European Union (AMIF).