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Alan, Gyan and family arrive in Germany!

    March 16, 2017
    Alan, Gyan with mother Amsha

    After a year trapped in Greece, this week Alan, Gyan and the rest of the family have finally travelled to Germany.  We know they arrived safely and that they are provisionally staying in a camp. We will keep you updated.

    Alan and Gyan are Kurdish refugees from Syria. They both suffer from muscular dystrophy and fled their home in Syria in wheelchairs; escaping bombs and the Islamic State. They arrived in Greece in March 2016 with their mother, Amsha and two siblings, Ivan and Shilan. Their father and another sister are already in Germany.

    Their arduous journey in search of safety had taken them and their family across four borders. They were shot at on three occasions when they were trying to cross into Turkey and were strapped to the side of a horse in order to cross the mountainous border between Iraq and Turkey.

    Amnesty International met them in July in a remote refugee camp on an abandoned military base 60km north of Athens. At that time the camp was packed with tents and few dilapidated buildings. It was completely unsuitable for them. But despite the difficulties they kept strong. Alan and Gyan were teachers in Syria and decided to contribute in the camp with what they know best; teaching.

    Their story of resilience grabbed our attention immediately. They shared with us the full story of the journey, their fears, struggles and wishes in a video that was widely seen. In September last year, a week after the video was released and after a first appointment with the Greek Asylum Service they were moved to a more suitable accommodation, first in Korinthos and then in Athens where they stayed March 2016.

    Amnesty International met them again in February, in Athens, to share with the family thousands of solidarity messages from Amnesty supporters. Their reaction was incredible. They simply could not believe the support and; as they have always done; had not only kind words for the people who wrote the incredible messages, but for all refugees in need of protection.

    Finally, after years of fear and uncertainty, Alan and his family managed to travel to Germany. But this time they travelled safely, by plane, as part of the relocation programme.  As Alan told us in Greece; ‘If I close my eyes I can see myself with my father again’. This week, this was possible.

    Thank you all for showing support to this family.