Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : August 2nd 2015 Contents waves."
Hadi, the boy with the sign,
was one of about 70 children
who had made the journey.
Many of their parents had hes-
itated before lifting those chil-
dren on to the boat. But in the
end they had all reached the
same conclusion: it is better to
risk my children s lives at sea
than to watch them die in
Yusuf and Amal had brought
five children on board, includ-
ing their first daughter, Fateh.
The girl s face had been burned
by a bomb dropped on Aleppo
a year earlier and had healed
into a mask of raw and pitted
scar tissue. She was 13 years
A little further along the dock
I met the boat s youngest pas-
senger. Baby Layan was just
eight months old and asleep
in her father s arms. "She had
an older sister, Hala," he told
me. "But she was born pre-
mature and needed oxygen. We
were under siege in Yarmouk,
in Damascus. There was no
way to get her to a hospital.
She died at six weeks."
Among the last to disembark
was Hania, her face clouded
with concern and her hands
clinging on to her five-year-
old son, Ibrahim, and his little
sister, Sima. The children s
father had disappeared from
their home town, Latakia, on
Syria s Mediterranean coast.
Unable to reach him and
unsure if he were even alive,
Hania had paid a smuggler to
take the family by car into
More danger on journey ahead
Two days later, having passed
through one of Sicily s official
refugee reception centres, the
Syrians were resting on the
floor of a mosque in Catania.
August 2, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Sunday Guardian
SAN JUAN/LAVENTILLE REGIONAL CORPORATION
Tenders are invited from ALL CONTRACTORS for works under the
DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME 2014/2015, for the following project:
MOUNTAIN VIEW CEMETERY
Prospective tenderers or their representatives must attend a Pre-Tender Meeting
in the Council Chambers, located on the ground floor at the Administrative
Department of the MTS Plaza, Aranguez Main Road San Juan on Wednesday 05th
August 2015 at 10:00 am followed by a Site Visit so as to ascertain the nature of
the works to be executed.
Tender packages MUST be obtained from the Tenders Department (only), located at the
ground floor of the Administrative Department of the MTS Plaza, Aranguez Main Road
San Juan from Thursday 06th August, 2015. Upon presenting the pink deposit slip
showing that a Non Refundable Tender Deposit of One Hundred Dollars ($100.00),
(cash deposit only) has been paid.
This deposit slip can be obtained from the Accounts Department; the tenderer must then
go to First Citizens Bank San Juan to make the deposit.
Further information relating to the project can be obtained from Mr. Azim Bassarath,
County Superintendent at 638-7391 Ext 144 or the Tenders Department at 674-5843.
Envelopes must be deposited in the designated tender box located in the lobby of the
Administrative Office, San Juan Laventille Regional Corporation, MTS Plaza no later than
THURSDAY 13TH AUGUST, 2015 AT 12:30 PM
Tenders would be opened publicly on THURSDAY 13TH AUGUST, 2015 at 1:30 PM and
the tenderer or his representative may be present at this opening.
Late tenders would not be accepted under any circumstances and the
Corporation does not bind itself to accept the lowest or any other tender.
The San Juan/Laventille Regional Corporation reserves the right to cancel the tender-
ing process in its entirety, without defraying any cost incurred by any firm in submitting
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
SAN JUAN/LAVENTILLE REGIONAL CORPORATION
The elation of the rescue had subsided
and the ground had at last stopped
swaying beneath their feet. Dry land,
though, brought a new set of worries.
None wanted to stay in Italy. Many
were hoping to join family in Germany
or Sweden. All were heading north.
Since European law requires refugees
to leave their fingerprints and claim
asylum in the first country in which
they arrive, the journey out of Italy has
become an exercise in anxiety and eva-
sion. Hiding from the police in train
Hoping you can afford the tickets. Pray-
ing that no-one stops you, or speaks
to you in a language you don t under-
stand, or asks for papers that you do
Bewildered by Europe s laws and by
the tangle of train lines heading north,
the Syrians called Nawal Soufi to ask
Soufi is a 26-year-old activist who was
born in Morocco and raised in Sicily.
Although she has no official position
and represents no aid organisation,
Soufi has spent the past three years
helping refugees find shelter in Sicily
and, when they are ready, to move
As her reputation spread, Nawal s num-
ber was given to Syrians still stranded
in Libya and Turkey. Before long they
were calling her from boats in the
Mediterranean, asking to be rescued.
She has become adept at handling these
calls, taking down the GPS co-ordinates
from satellite phones and passing them
to the Italian coastguard.
Now, though, the refugees didn t need
saving. They needed information. How
can I get from Milan to Munich? Will
my kids have a better chance in the
Netherlands or Sweden? What will
happen if the police catch us?
Speaking through a tour guide s micro-
phone, Soufi mapped out the minefield
of legal obstacles, police hostility, and
criminal exploitation that the Syrians
would now have to cross.
"When you arrive in a strange place,
without knowing anyone, people can
see that you re lost. Be careful. Someone
might approach you with an offer of
help. They might say they know a place
where your family can sleep. They
might claim to work for an organisation
that helps refugees. Don t trust them.
If you go with them, they ll lock you
in a house and keep you there until you
pay to get out...
"The Italian police might force you to
give a fingerprint in Milan... I know
one guy, a Syrian, who got to Hamburg,
but they d already taken his prints in
Italy. The German police dragged him
from his house, from his bathroom,
and sent him back here. Yesterday he
was in Venice. Today he s in Milan,
sleeping in the street..."
Soufi spoke for 20 minutes. When she
had finished the men sat on the grass
to smoke, confer, and weigh the dangers
of the journey ahead.
They had three hours before the train
left for Milan.
At Catania station I caught up with
a man I d met on the docks two days
earlier. Abu Amar had sold his house
and car in Syria and used the money to
bring his children and grandchildren to
safety. Make a plan, Soufi had told him.
Don t just set off without a destination
Abu Amar, though, had nothing to
go on. "I ve got 700 euros," he said.
"Wherever we are when that runs out,
that s where we ll end up."
Abu Amar set his suitcase down on
the floor of the station, took his grand-
daughter in his arms, and leaned back
against a billboard. It was an ad for Ray-
Ban sunglasses. The slogan: Never Hide.
Abu Amar leans against a billboard with
Continues from Page A36
Activist Nawal Soufi has spent the
past three years helping refugees.
Refugees' desperate cry for help
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