The Refugee Story | The Daily Star

Life threatening sea journeys

the-refugee-storyWar has caused millions to flee their homes and thousands to risk death by taking the sea—all this, in the hope of a better life away from the horrors they seek to escape. With the World Refugee Day right around the corner, The Daily Star and the UNHCR bring you the heartbreaking stories of refugees from around the world.

Refugees waiting to meet their families

Ahmet’s story, Cyprus

I was born in Homs and I wanted to live there until the end, but this vicious war left us no other choice but to leave all behind… For the sake of my children’s future we had to take the risk.

Saransika’s loss at sea

Saransika’s loss at sea

Saransika, a 14-year-old refugee from Sri Lanka, lost her family on the high seas and struggles to come to terms with her loss.

Former refugee and award winning author Carina Hoang

From refugee to award winning author

She endured violent storms, pirate raids and severely unsanitary conditions to make it to Indonesia, only to find herself stranded on an uninhabited island for almost three months until being rescued by the UNHCR.

Sahara, a refugee from Somalia who travelled to Yemen

Sahara’s story, Slovakia

Sahara had to flee Somalia and later was offered resettlement. We met her on her way, in the Emergency Transit Centre in Humenne, Slovakia.

How Shookrullah Alizadah became a refugee by travelling from Afghanistan to Sweden

From Afghanistan to Sweden

We drank sea water to survive. In the middle of the sea, the boat’s GPS broke down.

Escape to hardship

Escape to hardship

Abdullah closes his eyes as he recalls the terrifying journey he made after escaping from Rakhine State, in Myanmar.

Mohad a refugee from Malta to Poland

Mohad’s Story, Poland

In Malta he might have had a steady job, but what’s the use of having one when you can’t live with your family?

Family of refugee Thanassi

Son of refugees

I grew up with all the rules, fears, responsibilities and restrictions that are imposed onto refugees or that refugees impose on themselves, being strangers in a new land.

Assisting rescue of migrants and refugees

Being human

Photojournalist Darrin Zammit Lupi writes about his experience in covering boat arrivals to Malta in 2014

Thamer & Thayer, brothers from Syria, escaped war, then Libya only to be faced with death on the Mediterranean

Haunted by a sinking ship

Thamer & Thayer, brothers from Syria, escaped war, then unrest in Libya only to be faced with death on the Mediterranean

Kirsti Siirala's story as a refugee from Sweden to Finland during Soviet bombing in World War II

From Finland to Sweden during WWII

In February 1944, during the heavy Soviet bomb my parents decided to send me and my five siblings to Sweden once again. I was two years old.

Hamid’s escape from the Taliban

Hamid’s escape from the Taliban

I was just 17 when I came once more close to dying, this time in my attempt to cross to Samos on a boat from Turkey, along with four more Afghans.

Minara's escape from Rakhine persecution

Minara's escape from Rakhine persecution

Minara paid for their passage with her wedding ring and after many days at sea, they reached Malaysia.

Mouhamad, a 40-year-old dentist and poet, lived in Aleppo, Syria. He witnessed a mortar attack that killed 27 persons in September 2012. UNHCR tells the story of the refugees escape to Greece

Mouhamad’s journey

Mouhamad, a 40-year-old dentist and poet, lived in Aleppo, Syria, for many years.