These five Kurdish boys searched 70 refugee camps across Europe looking for their missing mother
The present refugee crisis in Europe is a tragedy unfolding with families tearing apart as brothers and sisters, children and parents are being separated in the melee; some to reunite but others never to see each other again.
In the refugee camps in Dunkirk, heart rending stories unfold in sorrow or happiness. For five Iraqi brothers, an epic journey came to an end after they searched 70 refugee camps across Europe looking for their mother.
1 My Father Instructed Me to Flee the IS Onslaught
Beshawar is now a 25-year-old refugee who used to live in a village near Mosul. He is the eldest of five brothers. When Mosul was overrun by Islamic state militants, Beshawar was instructed by his father, an officer in the Peshmerga Kurdish force to take his 5 brothers and flee.
Beshawar says that he wanted to stay and serve his country but his father wanted them all, to just leave from there. “You have to take our family and go now” Beshawar quoted his father as saying. His Father would not join them until Mosul would be reclaimed from the IS.
2 6 Months Ago the Family Got Separated In Greece
When they reached Orestiada, a town in Greece on the Turkish border, Beshawar and his brothers were separated from their mother. Men were not allowed to travel with women and children. It was be the last time Beshawar saw his Mother there.
“When we said goodbye, my mum was crying. I kept saying, don’t worry, don’t worry – but she kept crying and told me to look after my brothers,”said Beshawar. He thought he would see his mother aging during transit, but that was not to be.
3 Cast In Prison for 5 Days, They Searched Camps with No Food or Water
Beshwar and his brothers were put into prison for 5 days the moment they set foot in the first refugee camp. With no food or sleep, they frantically searched for their mother from camp to camp only to receive the same answer. “WE DON’T KNOW”
The only person who sympathized with Beshwar was Nantes, a security Guard at the camps. Armed with a picture of Beshwar’s Mother he searched but in vain. It was like looking for a needle in a haystack
They searched 70 refugee camps across Europe looking for their mother hoping that they would come across someone who may have recognized her.
4 They Travelled By Bus, Train And On Foot Searching Desperately!
Fellow refugees suggested they go to Nuremburg or Traiskirchen in Austria and they actually did! Beshwar wouldnot give up knowing he had to make it to every camp possible because he just had to find HIS MOTHER!!
His brothers feared her to be dead but Beshwar believed in his mother whose name is Roonak meaning brightness. A tough soldier in the peshmerga herself, she fought for 10 years during the Sadaam Hussein conflict. She was also a law graduate. Her resilience is what gave Beshwar hope.
5 Winter in Germany Brought a Beacon of Hope
It was a cold winter’s day in Germany which brought a beacon of hope. While showing a group of refugees his mother’s photo, one-woman shouted “Hey, show me again.” When she looked at the photo again, what she said made Beshwar burst into tears, “She grabbed my phone and looked hard, then said ‘I’ve seen her. I’ve seen her. She was here!’”How he longed to hear those words.
According to the woman, Roonak too was asking around about her sons. An officer confirmed Roonak was at the camp but had moved on. Beshwar had a feeling she may have traveled to France.However Beshwar did not find Roonak in Calais which he felt did not treat Kurds from Iraq respectfully. The boys carried on to Dunkirk.
6 Finally the Boys Reached Dunkirk to a Sight Which Made Them Cry
When he set foot in the Dunkirk camp, Beshwar felt the presence of his Mother, she was there!! He could feel it. “I felt so weird. This was my last chance.I thought if my mum is alive she will be here. If she is not she will be dead. It sounds strange but that is what I felt.”
Beshwar trudged along the mud filled camp at Dunkirk, desperate, dizzy but pumped up in hopes of finding Roonak. He shouted and screamed her name, he felt as if in a dream because when looking around, he finally saw her. Standing next to a cooking stove was Roonak.
He screamed “Mum, Mum!”
They ran together and crying they enveloped her. He remembered that people around them were shouting – ‘It’s the sons, it’s the five sons!’ He said, “I reached her and we hugged and hugged. I will never forget that feeling – I knew then why I had kept going for so long.”
7 The Story of the Five Boys Brings Hope to Many Refugees Unsettled In Europe
The boys searched 70 refugee camps across Europe looking for their mother and they finally found her. Beshwar called his father who was also alive and well. Today Roonak and her sons are waiting patiently for rehabilitation in a new camp at Dunkirk.
Beshwar and his family considered themselves lucky to be reunited. How many more are suffering the same fate with non success??
Beshwar’s story may come as a beacon of hope to many, but for the world it is also a reflection of a social problem which European nations are struggling to deal with and there seems no solution in sight.