Long Journey Home


Fadi, a Syrian refugee, (third from right) sits among family members in a park in Belgrade, Serbia. They traveled for 20 days to get there and are hoping to reach Europe and apply for asylum.

Fadi worries about the coming night. Gray clouds crowd the sky; it looks like rain. In a park in Serbia’s capital, Belgrade, Fadi and his family members huddle together on the one thing they own: a thin blanket.

Thousands of refugees and migrants enter Serbia every day on the way to other parts of Europe. Many, like Fadi’s family, stay in Belgrade parks for a few days before continuing their arduous journey to escape war and violence.

Fadi and his family trekked 20 days to reach Belgrade. It was a difficult journey that took them through Turkey, Greece, and Macedonia. In Greece, they were robbed three times. “Our tent, our shoes, and our money were stolen,” says Ahmed, Fadi’s 15-year-old nephew.
In Macedonia, police beat them. They had to walk six hours to reach the Serbian border. There they boarded a bus that brought them to Belgrade. Belgrade marks a short pause; their journey is not finished.

Ahmed had to leave his parents and five siblings in Syria. There was not enough money for his whole family to leave the country.

“Everything got destroyed in Syria. War, horrible war,” says Fadi, a former physics professor. 


Photo ©2015 World Vision, Aida Sunje

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