When a Syrian stonemason and his family were granted refuge in Greece a year ago they immediately move toward the island of Crete concluding a journey started by their grandparents 130 years back.
Ahmed in the Coast of Crete’s north-west
Entering a very small shop in Chania, on the coast of Crete’s north-west, Ahmed started to present himself. The owner of the shop took a gander at him surprised. He understood what Ahmed was stating, yet a portion of the words he was using was new and out-dated. It was as if Ahmed had arrived not simply from Syria, but rather from another age.
“He couldn’t trust that somebody was all the while talking old language in this era”
“We learned Arabic at school yet communicated in Greek at home,” says Ahmed. Kids recited short Cretan poems known as mantiades and learned the Greek dances. The guardians passed on the traditional Cretan recipes like fried snails and intermarriage with the Syrian populace was very rare.
Ahmed’s wife, Yasmine also belongs to a Cretan family. Ahmed’s father’s folks were forced to leave the Crete in the 1890s as the Ottoman Empire weakened. This island had been the part of Empire for the two centuries and around a fourth of the population, including Ahmed’s forefathers, had accepted the Islam. Be that as it may, uprisings in the late nineteenth Century brought about the expulsion of the Muslim population. Some went to Libya, Palestine, Lebanon or Turkey, however, Ahmed’s family made a trip to al-Hamidiyah, a town in Syria established for refugees by Ottoman Sultan Abdul Hamid II. Ahmed said: “We wanted to visit, yet never had the possibility.”Syria’s civil war came and left them a minimal decision.
Ahmed’s journey to Island of Lesbos
Ahmed’s sisters, Faten, Latifa, and Amina and their families were first to leave. Ahmed himself tried to find some kind of employment in the wake of agony from a slipped disk and experienced issues scratching together the cash to pay a people smuggler. Finally, Ahmed and Yasmine and their four kids – 4 years old Fatima, nine years old Mustafa, 12 years old Reem, and 14 years old Bilal set off for Greece in the spring of 2017. The voyage took three months and incorporated an unsafe boat trip from Turkey to the Greek island of Lesbos, on a dinghy that nearly sank. When the family went to their first refuge application talk with, Ahmed intentionally set his finger beside his particularly Cretan surname – Tarzalakis when requested to show his international ID. Following a month on Lesbos, Ahmed and his family were granted the asylum in August 2017. They instantly got a watercraft to Crete, where Ahmed’s sisters, his 2 cousins and their families living in the town of Chania, were waiting for them.
Ahmed was hospitalized immediately because of the issues stemming from chronic epilepsy. Medicinal staff astonished to hear the old language being talked and called a reporter from the local paper. Ahmed and the siblings need to tread very carefully when investigating their family history. The family is figuring out how to read and write the present day Greek and the kids are selected in school.
Furthermore, despite the fact that Ahmed acknowledges the opportunity to encounter life in his forefathers land, the conditions that bring him here make the experience bittersweet. Ahmed said” When you are forced to leave your born place, you lose a piece of yourself. If Assad was not in the power and it was ok for us to come back to al-Hamidiyah, at that point I would. In any case, I might want to keep the ties with Crete and visit consistently.”