Syrian Refugee Reunited with Family after a Few Years

Syrian Refugee Reunited with Family after a Few Years

Nouri will probably meet his family next week, hoping to celebrate Ramadan with his dearest ones


Destinies, life stories and misfortunes are etched in the “Vinojug” transit centre in Gevgelija, a shelter for refugees mostly coming from the Middle East for over 2 years now. Thousands of refugees used to transit this very shelter daily, while nowadays it serves as accommodation for some 10 people.

Sometimes amid all the incertitude, a happy story unfolds. Nouri Shtaat from Syria, refugee in the “Vinojug” transit camp, for a year and 2 months, has spent his days waiting for his happiness - a German visa. His story starts where the hardships and suffering of his 5-member family from Syria end.

He stays at home, in his home country, due to lack of finances to leave. He sold the farm and property he had, but only his closest ones left. He stayed hoping that perhaps the situation in Syria will improve, but every new month brought more misfortune. Therefore, Nouri embarked upon the refugee journey so as to join his family in Germany.    

- The road of hope brought him to Macedonia, and his family was in Germany

Nouri does not disclose how he reached Athens. The conditions on the Balkans were harsh as well. He travelled by bus from Athens to Eidomeni, experiencing last year’s turmoil in Eidomeni, Greece, in addition to the impatience of refugees. Finally he obtained the documents to access Macedonia.

He went through a lot of trials and tribulations, from his home country to the arrival in the Tabanovce refugee centre. In the hope of finally crossing the Macedonian border and head north, he was told that the balkanroute was closed for refugees. Thinking that the living conditions are better in the “Vinojug” transit centre in Gevgelija, he went back commencing the legal battle to obtain a visa in Germany.

“I never lost the hope that I will reach Germany. I spent the time here learning German, I used every moment, studying even 8 hours a day in order to be able to speak the language once I reach Germany. “ – states Nouri Shtaat for Anadolu Agency (AA).

The Macedonian Red Cross was the most helpful organisation in the attempt to find solutions. Looking into his case, they brought hope that a solution can be found.
„I submitted my documents without a passport. However, I was told that a passport is a prerequisite, but I became hopeful with the Red Cross services. They told me that some sort of a confirmation in the form of a document can be issued by the Ministry of Internal Affairs. Afterwards, with the help of other organisations, I found out that I can be granted a German visa on the basis of that document.” – Nouri recounts.

  • Legal solution of Nouri’s case

Anamaria Shram, volunteering for many years within the Red Cross sector for family reunion, worked since the very beginning on surmounting the legal hindrances in Nouri’s case so that he obtains the German visa. She states that the road to being granted the visa was anything but easy. She adds that the German embassy constantly highlighted that a passport is necessary.

With the aid and cooperation of the other NGOs in the camp, as well as the border police and the Ministry for Internal Affairs, they managed to initiate a procedure to complete the requisite documentation so that Nouri obtains the German visa.

„With the aid of his family’s lawyer in Germany, we managed to complete part of the requisite documents and obtain a temporary passport for foreigners, which was granted by the Sector for foreigners within the Ministry of Internal Affairs. We expect that Mr. Nouri will be reunited with his family in Germany next week.” – Shram states.

As she explained, a passport is definitely needed for the visa.

„We received help from the lawyers in the camp, the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy and the border police where we managed to collect the documents, as well as the Ministry of internal Affairs so that the passport for foreigners is obtained in order to get the visa. “ – Anamaria retells, adding that they obtained a positive response from the German embassy that the visa has been granted.

Now the procedure is completed, only certain formalities are to be done.

- The month of Ramadan brought me happiness and good luck

It is highly likely that Nouri will meet his family next week and will celebrate Ramadan with his dearest ones. Nouri retells that he never lost hope, that faith and Ramadan brough him good luck. According to him, the essence of life is eqaulity among people. Which he noticed here in Gevgelija as well, because everyone treated him well.

He says he will keep the good memories from here, which unfortunately happened unfortunately under bad circumstances, but he will remember the happy days.  

source: anadolu agency