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  • Mohammed's journey: A Syrian's long quest for a normal life

    Mohammed's journey: A Syrian's long quest for a normal life

    "t was a make-or-break moment in a journey across a continent. In the last few hours, he'd cased the border, planning how they would make their dash through the fields from Serbia into Hungary. His mind was racing. Had he missed anything?

    His vision drifted up to the late afternoon sky, crisscrossed by the white streams of passenger jets. He watched one plane go by, then another, then another. Full of normal passengers on normal voyages. He thought of the life he was certain he would reach, in Germany.

    "One day soon, I'll travel by planes like those," he mused.

    The dream of normalcy after a life destroyed by Syria's civil war had sustained the 26-year-old throughout his journey. Across the Aegean Sea where others like him had drowned. Through miles of walking under hot sun. Through rain and muddy fields, crowded train stations and long bus rides, lack of sleep, confusion, impatience, exhaustion, fear and anger — the constant barrage of every emotion, except one. Never despair, never a moment of despair or surrender.

    Mohammed's voyage was part of an historic movement of humanity as more than 600,000 migrants this year have crossed land and sea, seeking sanctuary in Europe. Countries there have been struggling to cope with the biggest wave of migration since World War II. Their shifting policies and the ensuing chaos have forced migrants to find new routes to northern Europe, where even the richest nations are now signaling they want to deter what they view as an unwanted overflow of migration"..........

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