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<img alt="Line of Refugees" src="https://i.imgur.com/YkaCaaf.png">
Welcome to //Refugee Paths//, a game about the European Refugee Crisis. You will be following the journey of a refugee fleeing their home country to seek asylum in a European country. You will choose a path to follow and then be prompted with scenarios that require you to make hard choices. There will be [[bolded links->Bolded Links]] within each page that take you to the next stage of your journey or provide you with additional information. Although we encourage you to stick with your initial decisions, you can always use the back arrow on the left to return to the previous stage.
And now, your story is about to begin. First, choose which path you are going to take: [[one->PROFILE 1]], [[two->PROFILE 2]], [[three->PROFILE 3]], [[four->PROFILE 4]], or [[five->PROFILE 5]].
(set: $destination to 0)
(set: $profile to 0)
(set: $family to 0)
(set: $time to 0)You are fleeing Syria in the wake of the [[civil war->Syrian Civil War]]. You have lived in Damascus all your life, but the city and the country that has been your home for so long is <a href="https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2018/08/one-refugees-firsthand-account-of-his-harrowing-journey-from-syria-to-greece.html" target="_blank"><tw-link>no longer safe</tw-link></a>, and with each passing day escape seems like the only viable option. You have set your sights on Sweden, having connections there and knowing it to be [[relatively accepting->Sweden]] of refugees. You are not traveling alone, however; you are joined by your spouse and your two adolescent children.
[[I will take this path.->Syria to Sweden]]
[[I want to learn more about the others.->Refugee Paths]]
You are fleeing Syria in the wake of the [[civil war->Syrian Civil War]], but this is not your first time as a refugee; you came to Damascus from the Hassaka Governorate, and are here considered //ajnabi//—a foreigner. Although your mother is a Syrian citizen, your father is not, and so, like him, you are classified as a [[stateless Kurd->Kurds in Syria]]. Your target is [[the Netherlands->The Netherlands]]; your father is already settled there, and it is your turn to join him.
[[I will take this path.->Syrian (Kurd) to the Netherlands]]
[[I want to learn more about the others.->Refugee Paths]]
You have been living in Afghanistan until now but have decided to leave after being targeted by the [[Taliban]]. Your target is the UK; hopefully [[knowing the language->UK]] will make the transition easier, although you will have a difficult journey ahead of you regardless.
[[I will take this path.->Afghanistan to the UK]]
[[I want to learn more about the others.->Refugee Paths]]The recent bombings and chaos of the [[Mosul conflict->Mosul Conflict]] in Iraq have pushed you to flee your home. You have an uncle in Germany, and you and your sibling intend to join him there, hoping that your family connection and Germany's [[excellent social services->Germany]] will offer you an easier relocation. However, you need to get there first.
[[I will take this path.->Iraq to Germany]]
[[I want to learn more about the others.->Refugee Paths]]The [[Somali Civil War]] has been a part of your life for as long as you can remember, but it has finally hit too close to home; fearing for your safety, you have decided to flee to [[Denmark]]. You have family there who fled the same conflict over a decade ago, and it is your turn to make that same journey.
[[I will take this path.->Somalia to Denmark]]
[[I want to learn more about the others.->Refugee Paths]]The Syrian civil war began March 18th 2011 with a small demonstration in the Daraa province where six civilians were killed. While many believed the conflict would fade, it spread throughout the country. As it spread, more than those six were slaughtered in house raids, artillery bombardment and an overall policy of violence. Syrians became prisoners to their own houses as the day to day world seized; with no end in sight individuals continue to leave their homes for the unknown.Sweden is one of the biggest providers of protection to Syrian refugees, along with Germany; they committed to resettling almost 3,000 refugees in 2015, and they come in second in terms of resettlement places and individuals granted asylum. However they come in first in terms of accepting the most asylum seekers per capita. The draw of Sweden lies in its refugee support systems; not only are the systems inviting for new refugees, but many of these newer refugees come to Sweden to join family members who were able to come earlier due to previous acceptance.Your journey begins in Damascus. From here, you might choose to take the [[internal->Internal Route]] or [[external->External Route]] route.
[[What is the difference?->Internal vs. External Route]]
(set: $destination to 'Sweden')
(set: $profile to 'Syrian')The Kurds of Syria are an ethnic minority occupying the north western portion of Syria closest to the Turkish border, making up 5 to 10% of Syria’s 21 million. Kurdish militias were among the strongest against the Assad regime, leading them to quickly ally with American forces. Despite being an ethnic minority, the Kurds' role in the Syrian Civil War has lead to an accumulation of reclaimed land and political power.The Netherlands became a popular destination for asylum seekers between 2014 and 2015, seeing an 84% increase in arrivals. Upon being granted leave to remain, asylum seekers can stay for five years, and the state provides social housing, social security, and full right to work.It's time to leave. What time is it again—[[2015->2.15]] or [[2016->2.16]]?
(set: $destination to 'the Netherlands')
(set: $profile to 'Kurdish')The Taliban appeared in Afghanistan during the 1990s in kinship networks of remaining refugee camps, ending the internal conflict against warlords and reigned dominant until 2001. Their piety and religious scholarship was overlooked by Arghanis when the group took control of Kabul in 1996 (Kronenfeld, 2007). Afghanistan was not used to external migration due to armed conflict, but the 2001 attack on Taliban forces by the United States necessitated greater refugee infrastructure for an additional 200,000. An armed conflict by the United States was avoided previously in the region and was now inevitable with a product of disenfranchisement, a breeding ground for radicalism. The European Union as well as the UK agenda demonstrates the severe impact asylum seekers are having on the migration infrastructure. The UK has gone as far as to insight Brexit to avoid their responsibility to welcome populations ranging from Syrians to Somalians in crisis. Compared to other European states welcoming refugees, the United Kingdom is second to Italy at <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/mar/01/britain-one-of-worst-places-western-europe-asylum-seekers" target="_blank"><tw-link>worst destination country</tw-link></a>. The country fails to offer financial support, adequate housing, and integration programs.You have made your way from Pakistan to Iran, where you are now working to save money for the next leg of your journey. You have some money but are not confident that it is enough to fund your trip. Do you want to [[stay->3.16]] and earn more or [[leave now->Afghan to Turkey]]?
(set: $destination to 'the UK')
(set: $profile to 'Afghan')Iraqi military operations have been at work since October 16th 2016 to dislodge the ISIS stronghold in the city of <a href="https://time.com/fleeing-mosul/" target="_blank"><tw-link>Mosul</tw-link></a>. During the effort many villages were liberated, but the conflict became worse as ISIS clung to what they had left. This conflict is dynamic and still has implications today as families attempt to return to the area. It is estimated that a total of 1.5 refugees of the crisis migrated into Eastern Turkey as a cause of this military conflict. Such brute migration further strained Turkish infrastructure and caused even greater migration trends in the Mediterranean.As evidenced by a dramatic increase in net migration flows, Germany is the top destination for Iraqi asylum seekers, with 37% identifying it as their target country. Although existing family is the most cited reason for choosing Germany, its safety and social services are also important determining factors. Additionally, for those granted stay, access is available to language and remedial courses to ease integration.It's time to leave. What time is it again—[[2015->4.15]] or [[2016->4.16]]?
(set: $destination to 'Germany')
(set: $profile to 'Iraqi')The Civil War in Somalia has seen many phases, and the most recent has continued to displaced Somalis throughout Africa, the Middle East, and Europe. The heart of the conflict is between the federal government and local militant groups, whose violent acts of insurgence have endangered many Somalis, especially those in the country’s southern reaches.Snuggled between two of the most popular destinations for refugees, Denmark has become a popular country for asylum seekers. However, a country known for its welfare promise of healthcare and education benefits the country has since advertised cuts made to refugee assistance. The country has even gone as far as to add pork to municipal menus, including schools, to disadvantage practicing muslims. While governments and policy are passively
<a href="https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2016/01/denmark-refugees-immigration-law/431520/" target="_blank"><tw-link>against refugees</tw-link></a>, voters believe more attention should be dedicated to the politicized entrance of many.<a It's time to leave. What time is it again—[[2015->5.15]] or [[2016->5.16]]?
(set: $destination to 'Denmark')
(set: $profile to 'Somali')You leave Damascus with your family cut in half; you take one child with you while your spouse takes the other. You head north towards Al Bab, hoping to remain within your home country in spite of the warnings you've heard, even from members of your own family.
You stay with extended family in Al Bab, but it quickly becomes clear that you are a burden to them. They were polite upon arrival and to your faces but grumble behind your backs. To the south, your spouse is experiencing a similar thing, and every conversation calls for you and your family to [[move on to Turkey->Internal to Turkey]].It's time to leave. What time is it again—[[2014->1.14]], [[2015->1.15]], or [[2016->1.16]]?
In 2011, what is now known as the Arab Spring, began in small villages in Syria and expanded to larger cities until much of the state fell. Families chose to migrate internally first to the last peaceful corners of Syria burdening their relatives, causing resentment and territorial fragmentation. A temporary internal displacement eventually led to the second phase of migration until 2014 when Arab countries could no longer handle the refugee burden and closed their borders.You plan to reunite with your spouse and other child in Turkey, but getting there is easier said than done. The border wall is stacked with ladders, and you and your child reach the top without too much difficulty; on the other side, however, there are no ladders. You hear shouting and realize that border patrol must be on their way—you and your child must either [[jump->Cross Turkish Border]] or [[be spotted->Border Patrol Capture]].You are in freefall for the briefest moment and are then wracked by <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2019/world/syrian-underground/" target="_blank"><tw-link>sharp pain</tw-link></a>. After taking a second to reorient yourself, you shift and conclude that you are still in one piece. The same is not true of your child; their face is streaked with tears and their leg is twisted at an odd angle. Touching it only inspires more tears, and as you try to help them to their feet you realize that there is something wrong with their wrist as well.
You pick them up despite your protesting muscles and make your way to a nearby semi-full canal, hoping to elude the incoming border control. You jump into the canal, but quickly realize that you cannot maintain control while keeping your child's head over water. If you [[try to save them->Border Patrol Capture]], you risk discovery, but they may not survive if you [[stay hidden->Continue into Turkey]].
The shouting draws nearer until it is upon you; hands pull at you roughly, and you remember little of the next few hours but pain. Then, you remember [[nothing at all->Ending]].Your journey ends here. Unfortunately, you were unable to reach your destination; this is the tragic reality for many would-be refugees, although many do eventually find their way to safety.
[[Would you like to start again?->Refugee Paths]]
[[Would you like to donate?->NGOs and Charities]]Your child's head submerges, and does not resurface.
They are gone, but you are still here, and you must [[carry on->Internal to Aegean Route]].You do not reconnect with your spouse and surviving child, too ashamed by your failure to contemplate facing them—if they have even survived the journey themselves. Instead, you stay in Turkey, finding work in a small textile factory with several other Syrians like yourself. After a month and a half, you trust that you have amassed enough to [[continue your journey alone->Izmir]].<img alt="Aegean Dinghy" src="https://i.imgur.com/R307UYw.png">
You leave in the night.
As expected, the dingy is no less comfortable once you actually get moving. The situation is not helped by the light rain that has started falling, but you only have to [[last until morning->Aegean 2.1]].You first attempt to make your way through Egypt; it doesn't require any visa or documentation, but you immediately feel unwelcome. Eyes follow you in the streets, and you hear people whispering as they pass. This distrust follows you as you try to find work, and every day brings new forms of discrimination. Perhaps you should be [[on your way->Mediterranean Route]].You first attempt to make your way through Egypt; it doesn't require any visa or documentation, but you immediately feel unwelcome. Eyes follow you in the streets, and you hear people whispering as they pass. This distrust follows you as you try to find work, and every day brings new forms of discrimination. Perhaps making your way [[through Turkey->Leave Turkey]] would be less degrading.You first attempt to make your way through Egypt; it doesn't require any visa or documentation, but you immediately feel unwelcome. Eyes follow you in the streets, and you hear people whispering as they pass. This distrust follows you as you try to find work, and every day brings new forms of discrimination. Perhaps making your way [[through Turkey->Leave Turkey]] would be less degrading.
(set: $time to 'later')You stay in Turkey for almost a year, living out of a small apartment. Your life is a simple, exhausting cycle of working, eating, and sleeping. The work is inconsistent; you jump from job to job, taken advantage of and spurned by those around you.
It is time to move on. By the beginning of your eleventh month here, you make contact with a smuggler who can offer you and your family passage to Greece—for a price. He asks for €1500 per person. You have about €7500. You are a party of four. The cost to bring your entire family is €6000, which is enough to make it across the sea but no further. You know others who cannot afford the full price have opted to [[leave people behind->Leave Behind]], but maybe you would rather [[stay together->Stay Together]]? Or, you can try to [[find a better offer->Alternate Dinghy]].Who will you leave behind in Turkey as you continue your journey to Sweden? Will your [[spouse->Leave Spouse]] stay behind? Your [[eldest child->Leave Eldest]]? Your [[youngest->Leave Youngest]]?
[[You->Stay Behind]]?Not wanting to separate your family, you decide to risk a money shortage later on. You will [[push onwards->Izmir]] together.
(set: $family to 'everyone')You find another smuggler offering a slightly different price, but you are faced with the same problem; at €2000 for adults and €1000 for children, it will be difficult to [[take everyone->Stay Together]]. You can still [[leave people behind->Leave Behind]].Your spouse decides to stay behind and keep the children with them; you will make the rest of this journey by yourself and send for them when you arrive. From here on, you are [[on your own->Izmir]].Your eldest will stay behind in Turkey, and your spouse has opted to stay behind with them. The next leg of your journey will separate you from the rest of your family, but you and your youngest must [[push onwards->Izmir]].
(set: $family to 'youngest')Your youngest will stay behind in Turkey, and your spouse has opted to stay behind with them. The next leg of your journey will separate you from the rest of your family, but you and your eldest must [[push onwards->Izmir]].
(set: $family to 'eldest')You decide to stay—you and your eldest child. Meanwhile, your spouse and youngest child will carry on without you. Once they make it safely to Sweden they will send for you, but for now all that is left for you to do is to [[wait->Spouse in Sweden]].
(set: $family to 'eldest')
(set: $time to 'later')
(set: $spouse to 'arrived')<img alt="Bus to Aegean" src="https://i.imgur.com/0lOhSy2.png">
(if: $profile is 'Kurdish')(else:)[(if: $spouse is 'arrived')[Ready to rejoin the rest of your family, you](else:)[You] (if: $family is 'everyone')[and your family](else-if: $family is 'youngest')[and your youngest child](else-if: $family is 'eldest')[and your eldest child] make your way to Izmir, a city near the Turkish coast. The hotel you stay in is decrepit, infested with insects and smelling distinctly of urine. You try to get a good night's rest to prepare for the next day's harrowing journey, but the poor conditions and nerves make sleep nearly impossible. Too soon, the sun rises, and it is time to carry on.
You pack (if: $family is 0)[yourself](else:)[yourselves] into a van alongside others making the same journey. You stand for two hours crammed in the van, nearly suffocating until you reach your destination and are finally allowed to extricate yourself. You meet with Turkish smugglers on the beach and make your way to the vessel that will hopefully deposit you at Greece, your next destination.
(if: $family is 'everyone')[The four of you, garbed in bright orange lifevests,](else-if: $family is 'youngest')[The two of you, garbed in bright orange lifevests,](else-if: $family is 'eldest')[The two of you, garbed in bright orange lifevests,](else:)[Garbed in a bright orange lifevest, you] clamber aboard a dinghy. It is an ugly contraption, black rubber inflated to stay afloat in spite of the bodies crowded into its confines. It is uncomfortable, to say the least, even before being subjected to the whims of the Aegean. You find yourself seated upon the edge, (if: $family is 0)[both hands clasped around the rope serving as a rail](else:)[one hand clasped around the rope serving as a rail and the other holding on to the hand of your child].
(if: $family is 'youngest')[[[It's time to go->Cross Aegean II]]](else-if: $family is 'eldest')[[[It's time to go->Cross Aegean II]]](else:)[[[It's time to go->Cross Aegean I]]].<img alt="Aegean Dinghy" src="https://i.imgur.com/R307UYw.png">
You leave in the night.
As expected, the dingy is no less comfortable once you actually get moving. The situation is not helped by the light rain that has started falling. The rain only gets worse as you drift farther from shore, soaking into your skin and clothes. Likewise, the waves have become more violent, crashing against your boat and spraying your already wet bodies with cold salty water.
You squint your eyes to ward off the water, but you can still make out a shape in the distance. A shout goes up as the other passengers catch sight of it too—a boat. At first your blood runs cold, knowing that Turkish border guards have been known to sink refugee boats. But as you drift helplessly closer, you can make out a banner which reads "<a href="https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2018/08/one-refugees-firsthand-account-of-his-harrowing-journey-from-syria-to-greece.html" target="_blank"><tw-link>Frontex</tw-link></a>"; this is not Turkish border patrol but European coast guard. (if: $family is 0)[You see other passengers hoisting their children unsteadily into the air](else:)[You hoist your child unsteadily into the air], hoping that with children on board your vessel will not be sent back to Turkey. You're in luck; the coast guard agrees to bring you the rest of the way to your next destination: [[Greece->Arrival to Lesbos]].
Several weeks pass, then months. You have stayed in Turkey for over a year now, but it has not gotten any easier. If anything, your life has only become more difficult; you have half as large a household now but also half as much income, and hostile attitudes towards you have not improved.
You keep in touch with your spouse and child as often as you can and worry both for their safety and about the obstacles that you will have to overcome to join them. The final stages of their journey are the most stressful, as it seems somehow worse to fail when you—or they, at least—are so close. Finally, however, you get the call. Your spouse and child have arrived in Sweden and applied for asylum; their journey is at an end.
It is time for yours to [[continue->Izmir]].The rain has only gotten worse as you drift farther from shore, soaking into your skin and clothes. Likewise, the waves have become more violent, crashing against your boat and spraying your already wet bodies with cold salty water. A particularly large wave slams into the dingy, and you stumble, falling forward into the equally unbalanced crowd. You reach out to grab your child's hand and find only air—faintly, intermingled with the sound of rain and waves and the other passengers, you hear them yelling for help. You look overboard and see an orange blur a few feet out. Do you [[dive in->Drown]] after them or [[trust the lifevest->Aegean 2.2]] to save them?You dive into the frigid waters of the Aegean, trying to keep your sights on the vibrant orange of your child's lifevest. The rain and seawater obscures your vision and throws you around, and you realize suddenly that you are sinking—there is something wrong with your lifevest. Even as you struggle towards where you believe your child to be, you feel yourself being [[dragged down->Ending]].You reach your hand out and shout, hoping your child can make their way towards you and climb back aboard. But they are drifting further away, thrashing against the waves, seemingly hindered rather than helped by the lifevest you had staked their safety on. Perhaps you can still [[dive in->Drown]] after them, but you realize that your chance to save your child is rapidly disappearing—in fact, it might already be gone. Will you be able to [[carry on without them->Lose Child]]?You watch as your child disappears beneath the waves. You must [[continue this journey->Arrival to Lesbos]] by yourself now.
(set: $family to 0)You do not have the luxury of free movement in or out of Syria, so the first stop on your journey—Turkey—is several harrowing hours away as of yet. You are also not likely to be safe in Turkey once you arrive; the quicker you can be on your way, the better.
That said, getting to Turkey still takes time—eight hours, in fact, on foot. Although you are making the journey by yourself, you have some company for this leg; others like you band together to make the long walk in the night. You are lucky, as not everyone crosses the border without being apprehended. After walking for so long you are eager to rest before the [[next part of your journey->Kurd to Aegean]].You do not have the luxury of free movement in or out of Syria, so the first stop on your journey—Turkey—is several harrowing hours away as of yet. You are also not likely to be safe in Turkey once you arrive; the quicker you can be on your way, the better.
That said, getting to Turkey still takes time—eight hours, in fact, on foot. Although you are making the journey by yourself, you have some company for this leg; others like you band together to make the long walk in the night. You are lucky, as not everyone crosses the border without being apprehended. After walking for so long you are eager to rest before the [[next part of your journey->Kurd to Aegean]].
(set: $time to 'later')You are able to get in touch with your smuggling contact upon arrival. They direct you to a hotel in the coastal town of Izmir. The hotel you stay in is decrepit, infested with insects and smelling distinctly of urine. You try to get a good night's rest to prepare for the next day's harrowing journey, but the poor conditions and nerves make sleep nearly impossible. Too soon, the sun rises, and it is time to [[carry on->Izmir]].After working for a while longer, you've raised enough to feel more secure; this should be enough to fund your journey, or so you hope. Regardless, you've waited long enough already, and it's time to [[move on->Afghan to Turkey]].
(set: $time to 'later')You quickly carry on towards Turkey, heading [[towards the coast->Izmir]] to depart for Europe.Your journey takes you first to Syria—a country not much safer than your own. You quickly carry on towards Turkey, heading [[towards the coast->Izmir]] to depart for Europe.Your journey takes you first to Syria—a country not much safer than your own. You quickly carry on towards Turkey, heading [[towards the coast->Izmir]] to depart for Europe.
(set: $time to 'later')You know of two routes available to you. The [[central route->Mediterranean Route]] will take you towards the Mediterranean, but you know that the [[Aegean route->Somali Aegean Route]] is also an option.You know of two routes available to you. The [[central route->Trouble in Libya]] will take you towards the Mediterranean, but you know that the [[Aegean route->Somali Aegean Route]] is also an option.
(set: $time to 'later')You journey northwards to Yemen, and from there head through Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria. You find yourself in a southern town under control of the Syrian government. If rumors are to be believed, the town hall is monitored by a sniper, but prolonging your stay here could provide you with much needed funds. Do you [[stay and work->Work in Syria]] or [[continue into Turkey->Izmir]]?You stay the night, and quickly realize the lengths people here go to for resources. Food is scarce, but starving is not an option.
Your plan is to sneak into the town square to get some bread; others have done it before, so it must be possible. Unfortunately, you don't get very far. You make your way to the town square and suddenly feel a great deal of pain and then [[nothing->Ending]].(if: $profile is 'Syrian')[You reach Libya, but this is only the beginning of your journey. Y](else:)[You make your way northwards, following an already well-established smuggler's route through <a href="https://www.unhcr.org/en-us/news/latest/2017/3/58d2585a4/hungry-desperate-thousands-somalis-trek-ethiopia.html" target="_blank"><tw-link>Ethiopia</tw-link></a>, Sudan, and Libya. Upon reaching Libya, y]ou are asked to wait—for how long, you do not know. The village you've relocated to is isolated, so the only people around are refugees like yourself, with no more knowledge of the next step of their journey than you have. During your first week, you are sometimes woken in the night by the sound of tires rolling across the town's unpaved roads; you wonder when it will be [[your turn->Libyan Coast]] to board one of these vehicles.You (if: $profile is 'Syrian')[and your family ]stay in the village for almost a month, worried and waiting. But finally, you hear a knock on your door, and you are (if: $profile is 'Syrian')[all ]ushered onto a bus. It is crowded, but people still rummage through their things, wrapping cellophane around their papers and money to protect it from the sea that you all hope to eventually reach. Refugees are not the only ones aboard; there are a few men helping to coordinate the journey, barking orders and occasionally threats at their passengers.
It is a long drive, and you soon lose track of the number of twists and turns the bus takes. The sounds of the smugglers' voices, the rumbling of the tires on the road beneath you, and the voices of your fellow passengers all merge into a mind-numbing buzz as you drive for hours with no clear destination.
Finally, the bus slows to a stop.
You(if: $profile is 'Syrian')[, your family,] and the others passengers step out onto the coast of Libya, breathing in the fresh(er) air. Your respite does not last long, however; quickly the smugglers usher you and the rest towards a cargo ship that will be your transport for the [[next several days->Boat to Lampedusa 1]].<img alt="Boat to Lampedusa" src="https://i.imgur.com/oPdni0a.png">
The boat is overcrowded and not intended to carry humans as cargo, yet here you are. You are jostled both by the other people surrounding you and by the rolling waves of the Mediterranean. Today marks the start of what you hope to be a week-long journey to Italy. You hunker down and prepare yourself for the [[rest of the journey->Boat to Lampedusa 2]].
You make your way northwards, following an already well-established smuggler's route through Ethiopia, Sudan, and Libya. You are especially wary upon arriving in Libya; you've heard rumors of attacks and instability in the country's southern reaches.
All too soon, you discover the rumors to be true. Before you can make your way northward, you are awoken in the middle of the night by an ear-splitting noise. Suddenly surrounded by dust and smoke and fire and rubble, you try to make sense of your surroundings. A startled gasp fills your lungs with ash, and you are wracked by coughs. The sounds of chaos surround you as you [[struggle->Ending]] to regain your senses.It is day three. The shifting of the sea below you has added to the discomfort of your trip; many are seasick, and those who are not are subject to the unappetizing spectacle of the less-fortunate emptying their stomachs into the water—when they can. Many of the upheavals only make it as far as the deck, mingling with the smell of salt and hundreds of unwashed bodies. However, the odor is not enough to relieve you of your appetite but neither are the meager rations provided to passengers. You hope it's just your imagination, but the portions seem to be getting smaller with each day. It can't get worse, though, [[right->Boat to Lampedusa 3]]?It is day five. In the past two days, the situation has deteriorated quickly; rations of food and water have been decreased, and requests for more have been met with force. (if: $profile is 'Syrian')[You forfeit your own rations to feed your children, but seeing them fed does nothing to satisfy your own empty stomach. You are [[so hungry->Ending]]...](else:)[The sounds of crashing waves and hushed voices are now interspersed with gunshots—and with the unmistakable sound of a body being thrown overboard. This is not the case for everyone, though; you see many unmoving figures, and you pray that they are sleeping. [[Two days to go->Lampedusa]]...]<img alt="Arrival in Lampedusa" src="https://i.imgur.com/fB9zPh4.png">
You are roused by the sounds of yelling—it would seem that you have arrived.
Coming ashore, you realize that the conditions here are little better than where you came from. The camp is crammed past capacity, both physically and in terms of paperwork; asylum applications are delayed beyond reason.
Rather than process all the claims, Italian border patrol has decided to deal with the inundation by sending people back to Libya. You have the misfortune of being one of those people, but you didn't make it this far by letting setbacks stop you. You can [[try again->To Lampedusa Again]] to make your way into Europe or [[stay in Libya->Stay in Libya]] for now.You try your luck with a new set of smugglers. Another week on a cargo ship, another dismal arrival at Lampedusa. You stay for a while in the makeshift detention center there, but quickly realize that the conditions are even worse than your previous trip here. Dehydration is an epidemic, and you are one of its [[victims->Ending]].You try to make something of a living in Libya, finding seasonal work in agriculture. Your trip to Europe is delayed, but not necessarily over. Perhaps someday in the future you can still make it to your destination.
[[Would you like to start again?->Refugee Paths]]The first rays of sunlight rise above the horizon, and you see land in the distance. As you approach, you can make out figures in fluorescent yellow vests wading into the water. They pull you (if: $family is 'everyone')[and your family ]into shore, and more vested figures rush towards you and the remaining passengers of your dinghy bearing metallic sheets. You collapse onto solid ground and hear voices speaking to you, wrapping you in the sheets which you realize now are blankets meant to warm you up. You are not the only arrival of the morning; as you sit, numb and exhausted on the beaches of Greece, you see other dinghys pulled in and other people pulled directly out of the water. There is a type of organized chaos all around you, and you are unsure how long you sit there, watching the waves.
Eventually you rouse yourself and follow the small herds of people heading [[somewhere->Bus to Camps]].<img alt="Bus to Kara Tepe" src="https://i.imgur.com/0zdqXsp.png">
A figure whose face you do not register hands out tickets to board a bus. (if: $profile is 'Afghan')[It will take you from the coast to [[Moira]].](else:)[It will take you from the coast to [[Kara Tepe]].]<img alt="Moira" src="https://i.imgur.com/1ALfVBX.png">
You arrive at the camp and are met with rows of sterile white tents strewn with signs of life: clothes lines strung between roofs, bags of trash and belongings littered across the ground, children congregated throughout.
Before you can join the rest of the camp, you are directed to [[wait in line->Wait at Camp]] for your official documents.<img alt="Kara Tepe" src="https://i.imgur.com/CeGcTJG.png">
You arrive at the camp and are met with rows of sterile white tents strewn with signs of life: clothes lines strung between roofs, bags of trash and belongings littered across the ground, children congregated throughout.
Before you can join the rest of the camp, you are directed to [[wait in line->Wait at Camp]] for your official documents.(if: $profile is 'Kurdish')[For most, the wait is from three to five days. You are here for nine months.
Your stateless status has confused the process; the officials are unsure how to file away your identity. While you wait for them to figure it out, you watch others come and go. You could [[wait here longer->Wait Longer]], or you could try to make the rest of the journey [[avoiding the officials->Athens Ferry]] the rest of the way.](else:)[It takes you four days before your documents are processed, but those four days are spent in the <a href="https://www.newsweek.com/festival-hell-can-festival-approach-improve-refugee-camps-europe-1228668" target="_blank"><tw-link>decrepit conditions</tw-link></a> of the refugee camp of (if: $profile is 'Afghan')[Moira](else:)[Kara Tepe]. Many have been stuck here for months, either delayed by processing issues or lack of funds. You are lucky to have your paperwork in order and enough money to board the [[ferry to Athens->Athens Ferry]].]
(if: $profile is 'Kurdish')[(set: $time to 'later')]
You stay another three months, rounding out a full year in Kara Tepe. Will you ever make it to the Netherlands? [[Avoiding the officials->Athens Ferry]] seems like a better option with every passing day, but maybe if you [[wait a little longer->Ending]]...(if: $profile is 'Kurdish')[You've waited long enough; it's time to go, even if that means a riskier journey in the long run. ]You are able to get a spot on the ferry that goes between Lesbos and the Greek mainland, surrounded not only by other refugees but also by perturbed tourists, whose vacation seems to have been unceremoniously disturbed by the ongoing humanitarian crisis that has consumed your life. For them, this is a minor distraction, but for you this is the [[future of your life->To Diavata]] hanging in the balance.As you disembark from the ferry, you hope that it will be the last boat you need to take along your journey. You head north to the Diavata camp on the Greek side of the border and spend the night. You wait until the next day to start the trudge [[across the border->Into Macedonia]].<img alt="Walking across Greece-Macedonia border" src="https://i.imgur.com/7AcIbTk.png">
The journey across the Greek-Macedonia border takes days. You walk through the seemingly endless fields dividing the two countries, in step with others making the same journey. You also occasionally see police forces, but they make no moves to stop you or anyone else. (if: $profile is 'Kurdish')[At first you feared your journey had come to an end, but they make no move to impede your passage.]
After a few days, you realize people are splitting off. Some of them are continuing to [[Idomeni]], a nearby refugee camp. Others are trying their luck with [[hotels->Try Hotels]]. You have made it into Macedonia, but you still have a long way to go.The camp is a <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/mar/17/migration-crisis-idomeni-camp-greece-macedonia-is-an-insult-to-eu-values" target="_blank"><tw-link>dismal testament</tw-link></a> to the struggles that you and others like you face. There are lines of people throughout the camp, queuing for food and supplies of which there seems to be a scarcity. The tents are waterlogged and the people are sick, but this is where you will stay until you can board a train that will take you through the rest of the country; perhaps you can [[rest your feet->Gevgelija]] awhile.The receptionist in the first hotel you reach takes in your appearance and unconvincingly informs you that there are no rooms available. Others are not so kind; you receive many outright denials, as well as a few who choose to completely ignore you instead. It's getting dark now, and you don't have a place to stay. You can try to find your way to [[Idomeni]] from here, or you can [[sleep on the streets->Macedonia Streets]].You spend the night <a href="https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-34118978" target="_blank"><tw-link>shivering on the streets</tw-link></a>, the night sky above you and strange sounds all around you. You have risked life and limb to make it this far, but the concrete underneath you is as good a reminder as any that your hardships are not yet [[at an end->Gevgelija]].<img alt="Gevgelija Train" src="https://i.imgur.com/UHbEYCV.png">
Your next stop is the southeastern town of Gevgelija, which holds little of interest to you except for a train station that you hope will allow you to continue your journey. You and about fifty others make your way past the streets and fields and vineyards of Macedonia until you reach the fence outside of Gevgelija.
(if: $profile is 'Kurdish')[You realize upon arrival that there are people lined up to register with the Macedonian border police. You cannot be one of them, but you must carry on. Luckily, the station is crowded, and you can make it inside without too much suspicion. You board the train and hope that the police don't patrol too thoroughly before you make it to [[Serbia->Arrival in Serbia]].](else:)[You register with the Macedonian border police, and then all that is left to do is wait. After about an hour, a train pulls in and you board, ready to continue [[onward to Serbia->Arrival in Serbia]].]<img alt="Presevo" src="https://i.imgur.com/UoLlJ2U.png">
The train drops you off in the town of Tabanovtse on the border of Serbia. From there you take a bus to the town of Presevo. Like all of your previous stops, Presevo is less than pristine; plastic bottles and bags litter the ground, and you can see a long line coming out of what you assume to be the processing center—another line for you to (if: $profile is 'Kurdish')[avoid](else:)[wait in].
(if: $profile is 'Kurdish')[You should be on your way. Hungary has closed its borders recently, so you'll have to make your way through [[Croatia->Into Croatia]] instead.](else:)[(if: $time is 'later')[After a few days of this waiting, the deed is done, and you are ready to continue. Your next stop would be Hungary, but you left too late; it's blocked off now, so you'll have to make your way through [[Croatia->Into Croatia]] instead.](else:)[After a few days of this waiting, the deed is done, and you are ready to continue. Your next stop is [[Hungary->Into Hungary]].]]<img alt="Hungary to Austria" src="https://i.imgur.com/jcLWIOR.png">
You walk along train tracks to cross the border into Hungary. Once there, you board a bus to Belgrade. From here, you can make your way into [[Austria->Arrival in Austria]].<img alt="Tovarnik Train" src="https://i.imgur.com/gn2z1aD.png">
From Presevo you make your way to the Sid train station. The train runs through Serbia into Croatia, allowing you to bypass the closure of the Hungarian border. [[All aboard->Tovarnik to Austria]]...<img alt="Arrival in Austria from Hungary" src="https://i.imgur.com/LpjM4rL.png">
Another day, another country. You have finally made it to Austria, and from here your journey should mainly consist of train rides. You ride from Vienna (if: $profile is 'Iraqi')[to your [[final destination->Destination]]...](else:)[into Germany, and then onwards to your [[final destination->Destination]]...]
Upon arrival to $destination you are welcomed as a refugee, but with time you realize that popular opinion is against you. In a homogenous society your appearance and culture stands out. Individuals believe that you are a burden to the resource system despite your understanding of the country’s bureaucratic hospitality.
Congratulations, you have made it to your <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/after-hard-journeys-to-europe-who-gets-to-stay/2015/09/20/583ded9c-5aee-11e5-8475-781cc9851652_story.html" target="_blank"><tw-link>destination</tw-link></a>!
[[Would you like to start again?->Refugee Paths]]
[[Would you like to donate?->NGOs and Charities]]You arrive in Tovarnik, Croatia. From here you are ushered onto another train, but you are unsure what lies ahead; both the other passengers and the nearby police officers seem confused as to what the train's destination is. You hear whispers that you are headed into Austria, but you do not pass any borders to your knowledge.
At 6am, you pull into the station. Apparently the train is not taking you across the border; you will have to [[walk->Arrival in Austria]].Bolded links will take you to new stages of your journey or provide you with additional information. When accessing information, the back arrow on the left will allow you to return to your journey. You can use that arrow now to return to the start, or you can [[click here->Refugee Paths]].Our goal in making this project was not only to educate but also to inspire empathy; we hope that you have been moved by this project in some way, and so we want to provide you with an outlet for these feelings. With that said, here is a list of NGOs and charities with campaigns targeted specifically towards refugees:
<a href="http://www.moas.eu/" target="_blank"><tw-link>Migrant Offshore Aid Station</tw-link></a>
<a href="https://www.msf.org.uk/" target="_blank"><tw-link>Doctors Without Borders</tw-link></a>
<a href="https://www.refugeecouncil.org.uk/" target="_blank"><tw-link>Refugee Council</tw-link></a>
<a href="https://www.unicef.org.uk/donate/syria/" target="_blank"><tw-link>Unicef</tw-link></a>
<a href="https://donate.redcross.org.uk/appeal/syria-crisis-appeal" target="_blank"><tw-link>British Red Cross</tw-link></a>
<a href="https://www.islamic-relief.org.uk/syria-appeal/" target="_blank"><tw-link>Islamic Relief</tw-link></a>
<a href="https://donate.unhcr.org/gb/syria/~my-donation#_ga=1.135788025.955847031.1417523128" target="_blank"><tw-link>UNHCR</tw-link></a>