A 14-year-old Syrian killed himself Sunday in a center for refugee families in the town of Glize in the Netherlands after he was refused asylum following years of travels between Spain and the Netherlands due to EU rules. His family said that he had been unable to deal any longer with living without a stable home after doing so for nine years.
Ali Ghezawi, a boy who had dreamed of becoming a cardiologist, took his own life Sunday, August 2, at age 14. He was staying in a center for the families of refugees that had been denied asylum in Glize, in the Limburgo region of the Netherlands.
The parents, Ahmad and Aisha Ghezawi, told the Dutch newspaper Het Parol that their son had been unable to stand living without a home any longer after nine years on the run since they left their home in the city of Deraa in southern Syria amid the beginning of the war.
Bounced from one EU nation to another
During the first five years as a refugee, Ali had lived with his parents and five brothers and sisters in a camp in Lebanon prior to being granted asylum in Spain. However, due to disappointment with living conditions and the lack of employment in Murcia region, the family moved to the Netherlands. There, however, due to EU regulations their request for international protection was rejected.
And thus Ali and his family were bounced from one European country to another: they returned to Spain but were told that their papers had expired and were told to leave and once they returned again to the Netherlands they were refused papers once again.
Previous suicide attempt last year
"When we recently heard that we definitely cannot stay in the Netherlands, something snapped in him. He didn't want to talk and eat anymore. I didn't dare lose sight of him for a second," Aisha said.
Ali had already tried to commit suicide the previous year but his father had managed to stop him from doing so. The Syrian boy who wanted to become a doctor killed himself out of desperation on Sunday and was buried on Monday, amid his family's grief and broken dreams.