Helena’s Story: A Scot in Lesbos

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Boats off Lesbos

In the first 6 months of 2015, 137,000 people crossed the Mediterranean Sea into Europe. The vast majority, according to UNHCR, were “fleeing from war, conflict or persecution.”

A third of those men, women and children who made it across the sea into Italy or Greece were from Syria.

The journey is not for the faint of heart. In April alone, 1,308 people drowned or went missing trying to cross the Mediterranean.

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???’s Story: Syrians in Scotland

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Front page of The National 17/11/15

Front page of The National 17/11/15

This was the front page of yesterday’s newspaper. Welcoming the first round of Syrian refugees being brought to Scotland from the camps in Lebanon and Jordan.

By Christmas, around 400 Syrians will be settling into their lives here. Yesterday the first 100 arrived to the rain, the cold and a, by and large,  warm reception.

Yet the first minister, Nicola Sturgeon had to stand up in the Scottish Parliament and reassure the Scottish people that those coming had been vetted twice. Once by the UN, then again by the Home Office.

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Marwa’s Story: A Syrian in Scotland

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Marwa is from Aleppo in Syria.

The country’s largest city, and one that has suffered greatly in power struggles between the regime and rebel forces.  At the time of writing the sole supply route to the regime-held areas of the city has been cut off by an ISIS advance, leaving hundreds of thousands stranded with the price of basic goods sky rocketing.

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