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Torn apart: Refugee families lose Europe dream

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From country to another, Syrian refugee Josef Majade was able to make his way to Europe with his little family to escape death in his home country.

Reaching Hungary, he was not able to continue the journey after he was separated from three members of his family during the dangerous journey.

“Some days I just get cold, and I wonder if they are cold, and then I burn on the inside,” Josef Majade told Washington Post.

The situation was not the same two weeks ago when he was in his home in Damascus when his friend knocked on his door and told him to be careful.

Getting separated from his wife, his only daughter, 13, and his youngest son, who is five, he cannot move forward in his journey to Germany.

Over the past four days, he has been waiting against a heating vent at the Keleti railway station in the Hungarian capital Budapest.

“How could I start a new life without them? I feel so much shame,” he said.

Close to the Keleti railway station, volunteers have been working in a tent to bring little joy with music from local guitarists and crayons for children.

Among some smiling faces, many had their dream changed after getting separated from their families.

Yet, police officials near the border said they do not know how many families have been separated.

“We just don’t know where they are,” said Zsuzsanna Zohar, a spokeswoman for Migration Aid, an organisation helping refugees, at the train station.

“Immigration authorities have been too overwhelmed to track them.”


As trains keep coming and leaving, many refugees stay in their places waiting for a spark of hope.

Majade’s spark of hope came on the fourth day after a volunteer at Keleti named Lobna El Gaby, 25, was on Facebook when she saw an unusual notice under Majade’s picture.

“I am at Gyor train station with his family now,” the commenter wrote, with a picture of Catherine, his daughter Judy, his son Jude and his nephew. They were safe.

Showing him the picture, the desperate father said, “Thank you, everyone,” as tears ran down his face.

As volunteers bought him a ticket, the noon train to Gyor arrived, and this time Majade could climb aboard.

Some 350,000 migrants have made the perilous journey to reach Europe’s shores since January this year, according to figures released by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) on Tuesday.

The IOM said more than 2,600 migrants had drowned trying to cross the Mediterranean in the same period. ONISLAM

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