An Image of Qusai telling his Story (Credit:IOM)
An Image of Qusai telling his Story (Credit:IOM)

This is the story of Syrian refugee Qusai, who crossed the sea to reach Greece despite being disabled as part of the journey from Syria to the Netherlands in search of a better life in Europe. His testimony appears in a video produced by the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

 "I took my decision to travel to Greece in 48 hours. We were 45 persons on the boat. For me it was very terrible because they threw my wheelchair into the water". This is the dramatic tale of Qusai Al Rifai, 31, from Syria, who decided to defy his disability and leave his country in search of a better life in Europe. The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) has gathered his testimony in a video.

"The water reached almost my chest"

"I have some sort of disorder, it's about bones. My bones can be very easily broken", says Qusai, who is forced to use a wheel chair. "After the war broke in Syria, I was so desperate. I started to think that I don't have any more chances to follow my life," he says. Then he decided to leave the country and try to reach Greece by boat. "I was the shortest one", he continues."The water reached almost my chest for 3.5 hours". His courage and determination are rewarded and he managed to reach the coast of Europe.

"I feel that I'm at home for the first time"

 Qusai now lives in the Netherlands as a result of the EU relocation programme. "I entered the Relocation programme after I spoke with a lot of friends in Europe. After 3.5 months they gave me the positive answer that I had been accepted. It was unbelievable", he says in the IOM video. "My life is totally changed to the best. I have more chances to follow my studies.Also, to feel that I'm self dependent for the first time in my life and that's really wonderful feeling for me". Qusai leaves home on his own, he goes shopping and to school. "For all this I'm very grateful. I couldn't find it in my own country but I found it here. I feel that I'm at home for the first time". 


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