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Samar’s Dark, Tragic Odyssey to the Sea Revives an Old Syrian Song!

Elie Chalala

A Syrian refugee girl in Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan (Photo Credit: Reuters)

A Syrian refugee girl in Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan (Photo Credit: Reuters)

by Elie Chalala. Samar, a Syrian mother from Daraya, along with her three children, embarked on a journey to escape Assad’s barrel bombs. She was also searching for hope for the youngest of her children, a gravely ill infant. Samar first became a refugee within her own country, and then embarked on a long and arduous journey towards the sea, an odyssey which Samar calls “the journey of death.” Assad’s violence was not the only reason she attempted to reach the Greek-Macedonian borders.  Samar hoped of sailing to a place where she will have “life” for her family, and for the child born with a life-threatening heart condition (born with a hole in the septum between the heart's two lower chambers).  Treating the infant daughter requires access to advanced and specialized hospitals, thus Samar’s trying voyage towards the Greek-Macedonian borders, according to Al Jazeera report.

On her journey she had to meet the merchants of death, Syrian smugglers, who robbed her for $12,000 and threw her on a street corner. She knew her tormentors, the smugglers, whose photos and telephone numbers she claims to have.  Samar pleaded with them to return her money since she had nothing, and even appealed to their Syrian “patriotism,” asking them how could they do this to a fellow stranded Syrian with three children. They never gave her back a penny, she said in the Al Jazeera report. Following her ordeal she realized that the sea remains her only way, reciting an old Syrian song which brought tears to already teary eyes, while also expressing her agony:

Take me to any country
And leave me and forget
Throw me in the ocean and do not ask
Since I have no second way