Preparing for ‘a death trip’: the story of one Syrian refugee

Friends of Syria

As a growing number of Syrian refugees attempt to cross the Mediterranean, aid agencies say it is impossible to know how many drown at sea in hopes of a better life

Migrant families who survived after their over-crowded fishing boat capsized enroute to Italy in July. At least 45 passengers drowned. (AFP)

Sara Elizabeth Williams's picture

On a late-summer morning in northern Jordan, as the sun rose over the city of Irbid, perched high on a desert ridge, a young father prepared to die at sea.

He packed a bag, just the barest essentials – two pairs of trousers, two shirts, a spare pair of shoes, gaffer tape, money and his passport – and kissed his wife goodbye. Goodbye for months, for a year, maybe forever.

His children, a shy, watchful five-year old boy and a bright-eyed, studious seven-year old girl, didn’t fully understand what…

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