With the refugee agreement taking effect today, would be refugees are being discouraged the news. EU refugees can no longer cross from Turkey to Europe. And refugees arriving in Greece are sent back effectively, April 4th.

In Istanbul, home to an estimated 2 million Syrian refugees. The boys Alaa, Tawfik and Adel are three Syrian refugees looking for a new beginning. Correspondent Luke Waagmeester with his questions. How is their life in Turkey going? And what does their future look like?

The boys are full of energy and talent, they are among the most able-bodied refugees. They chose not to go to Europe, but to stay in Istanbul.

“I heard that they no Syrians want more. No refugees to Europe. That is sad,” says Alaa . He is from Aleppo and there he was a professional boxer. He palms again in Istanbul, but sees little future without residence and work permit.

They have no choice but to go to Europe. But Europe does not want us to come. “Tawfik also tries to find work. But without a work permit he can only only work as an illegal worker. ”You must have a residence permit. It costs 550 euros. Most Syrians have not.”

The only job he could find was in one of the cellars and workshops in the textile district, where many Syrians work. ” We could not talk. I could not listen to my headphones. I was not allowed to smoke. Twelve hours standing, not sitting. The Turks were allowed to talk, and do anything they wanted. But the Syrians cannot.”

Thus he earned two hundred euros per month. ”That is only because we are Syrians. We can not go to the police . We can do nothing.”

As a first step to permit, the Turkish system requires an official refugee status. But that’s not what the boys want.

“We don’t want to be a refugee in a foreign country. If there are problems in Turkey, you have to deal with things Turks don’t have to deal with. That happened to people I know. A friend wanted to go to Europe, but she was not allowed,” says Adel.

The boys walk on all sides of the wall.

“I just want to live like a normal person and get scholarship, study and work, that’s all… Just live like a legal citizen.”

Via – Nos.nl




Hi, our names are Daniel Hellinger and Brody Spencer. We don’t usually ask for money or spam people for hand outs. But, we are saddened by the effects that the Syrian war as brought upon those who only want to live a happy and peaceful life.

We have traveled all over the world meeting thousands of amazing people who have shaped the way we percieve the world. On our last trip to Istanbul in October 2015, both of us met four Syrian refugees who changed the way we look at our own lives. Adel Rawas, Alaa Bannan, Waseem Abo Shala and Tawfik Gozum are four incredible individuals who have more talent than most people we’ve met along our travels. They have taught us an incredible amount on the war in Syria (that the news doesn’t show), life before all this craziness happened and about their individual lives.

Adel is a fantastic photographer who does great work in Istanbul. I (Daniel) have come to him for advice on different styles of photography and overall life questions. Brody has had countless conversations about life as whole with Adel. He wants to finish up his undergraduate degree so he can open up his own photography business in the near future.

Alaa used to be a professional baseketball player in Syria. We have had great conversations about his upbringing in his hometown of Aleppo and the struggles he has endured since then. His goal is to finish his undergrad and find a job in marketing.

Waseem is a professional body builder and former boxer. Waseem, Brody and I have had a great time talking about his goals in life and what he wants to do with his degree. His next step is to find a job and finish his Masters in Economics.

Tawfik is a professional DJ with incredible talent. He wants to finish his undergradute degree and then find a DJing gig in Istanbul.

All four all these men are wonderful people. They have celebrated our birthdays with us, gone on adventures, talked about serious issues in the world and enjoyed each other’s presense. We now consider them good friends of ours.

We have seen the terrible effects this war has given Syrians first hand. Syrians are suffering. Our friends are suffering. They can’t find jobs. They scrape by day after day to find enough money to pay for their tiny room and food. Their talents go unnoticed because they are considered second-class citizens in a country that is scared and frightened by terroism. They can’t go to Europe without risking their lives. This isn’t the way life should be. These men are extremely talented individuals who are caring and loving people. There’s no hate or violence in their bones. All they want is a life that is filled with happiness and opportunity.

As Americans, we take this for granted every single day. Brody and I are so lucky to be able to travel the world on our own accord. We can work in any country we want to and live anywhere in the world. We want this for our friends Adel, Waseem, Alaa and Tawfik. We want this for everyone. These men deserve more than what we have. They deserve a life that is filled with love, opportuntiy, happiness and a worry-free lifestyle.

We are raising money to help our four friends finish their studies in University and a little extra cash to help pay for everyday life expenses. We aren’t asking for $100. We are asking for $2-5 from as many people that want to make a difference in four young men’s lives. This can really change their lives for the better. It’s a small step to change the world. But, these small steps are necessary.

We are looking to raise $5,000USD. You do not know these men. But, you do know Brody and/or I. We have a credible history. We are both some of the most open-minded individuals in this world. These men are our close friends. They need help surviving in this crazy world we live in. Instead of that daily coffee, donate $5 to help out these men who we consider our brothers.

We are very thankful for those who will donate to this cause. Both of us are never one to ask for anything. We are asking as friends that you consider this donation. Write it off on your taxes. It will help four young men who desperately need funds to pursue their dreams.

Best regards and thank you from the bottom of our hearts,

Click Here” to help four young men from Syria.

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