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Syrian refugees: "We risked our lives for our children"

Meet Mustapha and his wife Safaa, who risked their lives in hope of finding safety for their young children in Europe. The family of four fled from the war­ravaged city of Aleppo to Turkey and then took the dangerous boat journey to the Greek island of Lesbos.

Mustafa is aware of the backlash against refugees that has engulfed Europe since the Nov. 13 terror attacks in Paris. He says all he seeks is a peaceful life where his children can go back to school and become productive adults in their new country.

“Those who run away are only seeking safety, and not to fight." he said. "On the contrary, they are here because of their children, to find a life for them.”

Learn more about the International Rescue Committee's response to the refugee crisis.

Read the full video transcript

Video Transcript

Mustapha: We are looking for safety for our children.

Title: Mustapha and Safaa from Aleppo, Syria

Mustapha: I was a blacksmith. I worked as a blacksmith in Syria. Then the war started, so we left Syria and went to Turkey and stayed there for a year and half.

Mustapha: We couldn’t manage to live in Turkey any longer, so we came here. We crossed the border legally from Syria to Turkey, through the border crossing.

Mustapha: We presented our passports and passed through. But we could not live, they don’t recognize Syrians. I mean if I get sick, or my daughter gets sick, nobody will allow us in the hospital, not without an ID. 

IRC Interpreter: How did you feel on your way here? 

Safaa: Most of the women don’t know how to swim. If they fall off, most of them will drown. Women worry about their children and have to take care of them. 

Mustapha: We are looking for a future for our children, to be able to study and be safe. 

Mustapha: What can I say? May God help the refugees; they escaped war seeking safety here. If they were seeking war, they would just fight there. If they are seeking destruction, there is lots of destruction over there. 

Mustapha: You can see the war in Syria, and see that those who run away are only seeking safety, and not to fight. On the contrary, they are here because of their children, to find a life for them, and not the other way. 

Title: #RefugeesWelcome