Aramean (Syriac) from Europe try to bring relatives over (14 September 2012)

Short interview with Hane Mousa (31) who heard about our work in Greece via Suryoyo Sat and seeks the support of the World Council of Arameans (Syriacs). The requested help is how we can assist in bringing people from Syria, or refugees from neighboring areas, to Europe.

I live since two years in Brussels, Belgium. I want to bring my brother Lahdo (25; just graduated) and my cousin (19) to Brussels. They are being called for military service. They have been hiding themselves in Qamishlo because they don’t want to do this. We have a cousin who is already serving 14 extra months in the army, and he hasn’t seen the family since then; occasionally we talk over the phone. Another cousin has broken both his legs and is in the local hospital for 7 months now.

We cannot fight in the army during this war. I had an uncle who fought during the 6-day war in 1973. He got killed. All he was honored with was a miserable school named after him in one of the villages, but nobody lives there anymore except for some Muslim families. Whereas the children of Muslim martyrs are still receiving payments for the sacrifices made by their fathers.

My brother called me and said that numerous young men have already fled the city. The streets of Qamishlo look very empty nowadays, many have already left the town. Everyone who is still in Qamishlo wants to leave as soon as possible to Europe if they get the chance. We know that there are many Arameans (Syriacs) in Turkey and Greece. I have been told that there are more than 500 Aramean young men from different cities and villages in Syria who are now stuck in Greece.

My brother and his cousin did not foresee that they would be called for military service. Now they cannot arrange their papers anymore, otherwise they will be arrested and forced into the army. We are looking for ways to leave the country. We haven’t found a person yet who can bring people from Syria, or from the neighboring Turkish city of Nüsaybin, straight to Europe. There are different persons for the different route options. They are as follows:

  1. There is someone who can take people from Nüsaybin, where they receive false documents, to Istanbul by bus. But they ask 4,000 euro for this.
  2. There is a Muslim Arab, judged by his accent he is from Raqqa or Deir Ezzor, who can take them from Istanbul and bring them to Greece. His name is Abu Saleh. I know from two young Aramean men from Hassake, who arrived here recently by plane from Greece, that he is able to arrange this. But he asks 4,000 euro per person. I bargained with him and he did not want to go lower than 3,700 euro per person.

There are two Arameans in Qamishlo, named Abu Rabi and Abu Yusuf, to whom we entrust our money. Once our relatives have arrived safely and successfully to Europe, we then request them, especially Abu Yusuf who has his own office there, to give the money to the human trafficker.

I know of another Aramean, some two months ago, who arrived to Brussels Airport. They had no documents or passports with them. Yet, they were able to go on board the plane from Greece. Apparently because Abu Salah knows someone who guides them into the plane. He they will get caught and receive a document that states that they have 15 to 30 days to leave the country on their own. Of course they didn’t do that and now they are seeking asylum here.
There is a young Aramean man here in Brussels who originates from Hassake. He is able to provide people with falsified documents. For example, a Belgian ID-Card that is valid for five years costs 3.500 euro and a passport costs 5.000 euro. I know he is not doing this by himself. He has a partner and his partner knows somebody we don’t know in the local municipality, perhaps of Belgian descent.

Melke Wardo from Hengelo, the Netherlands, just contacted the World Council of Arameans (Syriacs). He has a similar urgent request for help. This is briefly his story.

I have two nephews who are stuck in Greece for one month now and they want to get out and come to Europe as soon as possible. David (28) and Gabriel (25) Wardo are the sons of my brother. David is joined by his wife and a baby son of six months.

They reached Greece by walking there and through water. They explained me that it was a terrible journey! They are in Athens now and have some money with them; we also send them money. They are not imprisoned but just can’t leave the country. They tried this two times before via Rhodos, even with falsified documents, but they were caught both times. They don’t know how to get here.

There are rumors Syria that Europe allows in Christian refugees. Here in Europe we also hear about this sometimes in the news about our governments. That’s why more and more people are leaving the country leave and come here [repeat of Tur-Abdin Exodus!].

There is a lot of fear there. Even our churches are attacked more and more. You don’t know who will attack you or when. Only those who have no chance or are not smart stay there. It’s really becoming dangerous there. It’s like a new Sayfo [Genocide] for our people. We don’t know what to do. Lots of weapons are smuggled into the country. Our people can’t defend themselves and there is nobody to protect us there. We don’t know what to do anymore and want to help our relatives to get out of there as soon as possible, before it will become even worse than it already is.



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