September 3rd, 2012. A war torn country, plagued with death and injury, houses the lives of a helpless family looking for survival. Mohammed, Tira and their daughter ashur, are constantly forced into moving like a rat in a cage from house to house in order to find peace and quiet for the night. Army forces continue to spread throughout the country in order to find and split families apart. Hostile times cast across the country with an intent of boiling over into a full-scale war. Opportunities to escape from this hell-hole are few and far between but for Mohammed and his family, escape is the last thing on their mind, the first being survival. For the Australian and United States media, it is a situation of “dire” importance but for this family, it’s just another day in Damascus, Syria.
Winds of death and anguish whistle widely across the barren plains of Syria. Constant threat of an army invasion on the small sanctuary that this family was now calling home continued to echo inside the mind of Mohammed. His sole responsibility in his countries culture is to take the utmost care for your family and be the role model for those surrounding. He knew this and so, late that night crossing into the early morning he set out to meet with a contact he had found earlier that week, claiming of a “magnificent way out of this country”. Money, food, whatever it took to get his family away from this war stricken country, Mohammed was prepared to do it. They met in an undisclosed location, and Mohammed was told that for $4000 he could get him, his wife and their daughter out of this country and to a new world, a better world, Australia. A trip that would consist of them being smuggled onto a plane bound for Thailand and then shipped off on a boat to the sunny shores of Australia. Sounded simple enough, and in the desperate state that Mohammed was in, it was a ticket to freedom.
Frantically gathering all their possessions and belongings they snuck their way passed security into the airport. This was only the beginning of the challenges that lie ahead of them, as they now needed to sneak into the cargo area and remain completely silent in order to get onto the plane without being noticed. This was it. That moment of relief was slowly beginning to creep up as each step of the plan to Australia was edging closer and closer to completion. The plane took off with the family in the cargo pit and Tira and their daughter Ashur began to instill their faith in their husband and father to get them to safety.
As the plane flew they waited, and waited. In complete fear of what was to come next the plane sat down in Thailand. Mohammed and his family fearfully fled to the airport runways and needed a way out of the airport without being noticed. Their contact back in Syria had organised a bus to pick up Mohammed and his family. Frantically running for the back fence of the airport and out onto the road they jumped the fence and made it out of the first, and arguably hardest, part of their trip. Reaching the bus Mohammed was confronted by another family. But why. Why was another family getting the bus that was designated to take his family to find asylum? The bus began to move. Now meeting this family gave Mohammed confidence. He felt a sense of togetherness with this family.
Upon getting to know each other on the bus there was a string of life problems that they’d had in common. This made Mohammed feel, good. Not the problems that this family had been going through, but the fact