By Caroline Haga, IFRC
Qusai Jaber is among the 121,000 people who have arrived on the Greek island of Chios seeking safety in the last year. The 27-year-old fled the city of Ramadi, Iraq – which has been under siege since 2014 – with his family and made the perilous sea crossing from Turkey to Greece.
Like thousands of other terrified passengers, Qusai found himself fighting to survive in the Aegean Sea after the flimsy rubber boat he was travelling in began to sink. While Qusai survived he watch helpless as his brother was lost beneath the waves.
“In Ramadi, we could expect shooting or bombs at any time,” Qusai said. “There was no security at all. My father was robbed of everything in the middle of a street. So I decided we had to leave with my wife, my son and my brother.”
Now, with the support of Palestine Red Crescent Society psychologist Mohammad Brighith, who is working in Greece with the Spanish Red Cross and Hellenic Red Cross, he is preparing for news about his brother.
“I’m now just waiting here at the Souda transit camp,” he said. “I am hoping that they will find him somewhere.”
Qusai is among 112,000 people who have received psychological support from Red Cross and Red Crescent societies as they have made their way across Europe last year. Specially trained volunteers are stationed at first aid posts along the migratory trail to help people deal with the stress and trauma they may have faced either at home or on their difficult journey.
Qusai is waiting to find out the fate of his brother before leaving Greece . He hopes to find a place where his family can finally feel safe.
“I hope that God will bless everyone all over the world wherever they are, Muslims and non-Muslims alike,” he said. “I dream of all people living free and in peace together.”