Syrian family finds refuge in Germany

syrian family reaches germanyThe photo of Syrian refugee Laith Majid crying tears of relief as his family reached the shores of Greece touched the hearts of millions around the world. It went viral on social media and featured as the front cover for the September edition of Crosslight.

According to German newspaper Bild, the family arrived in Berlin on Monday, where they are expected to apply for asylum. The Facebook group ‘Europe Says Oxi’ posted a photo of the family smiling and laughing as they embark on a new life in Germany.

Mr Majid, his wife and their four children fled Syria and travelled to Bodrum in Turkey before boarding a raft to the Greek island of Kos. The journey from Bodrum to Kos was the same route that claimed the life of three-year-old Aylan Kurdi.

The photo was captured by New York Times photographer, Daniel Etter.

“In my entire career as a journalist, I have never been so overwhelmed by a moment that I was lucky enough to witness, and lucky enough to photograph,” Mr Etter wrote in The Guardian.

“I didn’t know anything about them, yet their reaction said it all.”

Mr Majid’s wife, Neda, who worked as an English teacher in Syria, told Bild 13 governments offered to take them in.

“We opted for Germany. We heard that there is help here, schools for the children,” she said.

“Angela Merkel is very good. She is like a mother for us.”

German Chancellor Angela Merkel recently agreed to accept 800,000 refugees this year in response to the growing humanitarian crisis.

Last week, hundreds of Germans welcomed refugees at a railway station in Munich with applause and gifts.

Approximately 95 per cent of the world’s Syrian refugee population are hosted in five countries – Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and Egypt. Just 2.6 per cent of the Syrian refugee population have been resettled since the start of the conflict.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott today announced that Australia will accept an additional 12,000 Syrian refugees from Syria on top of the existing 13,750 yearly quota and provide an extra $44 million in financial aid.

Act for Peace is running a Syria Crisis Appeal to provide emergency relief to refugees. You can make a donation to their appeal here.

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