Death of refugee family in Aegean

August 11, 2018 at 10:47 pm

Farah, Dalal, and Nagham drowned with their mother. Photo courtesy of Hunar Raad

Farah, Dalal, and Nagham drowned with their mother. Photo courtesy of Hunar Raad

Laila Ahmed – Salahadin
Hunar has seen a lot of tragedies in his life, but the last one literally brought his house down. In a few seconds, he lost his wife, and three daughters in the Aegean sea.
It was on Thursday, 9 August 2018, the six-member family were floating the ever-dangerous waters of the Aegean to reach Europe.
Sobbing, Hunar’s father, Raad, recalled the story for KirkukNow, “20 days ago, They headed to Turkey with his family. I reached the news on Thursday that only Hunar and his little son survived, all others were drowned.”
Hunar was married for 10 years, a father of three daughters and a son. The incident left him alone with his son.

Hunar Raad and his wife, Shaima Aziz. Photo courtesy of Hunar Raad

Hunar Raad and his wife, Shaima Aziz. Photo courtesy of Hunar Raad

The boat that took them capsized after 30 minutes en route to Greece, causing the death of many Iraqi citizens, hoping to reach their dreams on the other side.
Hunar alone lost his wife, Shaima Aziz, and his three daughters,

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Hunar’s father cites poverty, displacement and disappointment as his reasons for his decision to move to Europe, “We tried to dissuade him a lot, to no avail.”
Hunar, like many other Iraqi citizens, was saying, “Why shall I live forever in crises, displacement and under threat.”
He was a police officer in Tuz Khurmatu. He fled the town to the Kurdistan region after the federal raid on Tuz Khurmatu on 16 October 2017. Hundreds of Kurdish families fled during these developments.
A friend of Hunar’s says he loved his town, but could not live in perpetual danger.
Hunar used to be in Germany before his marriage. He decided to return to his hometown and live his life. What happened last year changed everything.
His father is yet to return to Tuz Khurmatu, although Hunar shortly returned before his journey to Europe.

Hunar with his three daughters and a son in Turkey. Photo courtesy of Hunar Raad

Hunar with his three daughters and a son in Turkey. Photo courtesy of Hunar Raad

Raad said, “My son, Hunar, was threatened a lot because he was a police officer, but he was forced to move back to the town because of his job.”
A volatile multi-ethnic Khurmatu turned difficult for life after militias with different affiliations turned on each other and the people.
A tragedy nonetheless, Hunar’s story is not unique at all. Hundreds of Iraqi families experience the same loss when moving to Europe.
The family cannot retrieve the bodies of their loved ones home. Raad says, “Our family became war victims. My financial situation is bad, and my wife has a kidney problem. She is in bed.”
Stuck in Turkey, Hunar and his son can only cry for the loss of their loved ones. He is waiting for help, so he can move back to his town, Tuz Khurmatu, and bury his family there.

The three daughters of Hunar and Shaima,  Nagham (10 years), Farah (8 years) and Dalal (6 years) posing for a photo in Turkey.

The three daughters of Hunar and Shaima, Nagham (10 years), Farah (8 years) and Dalal (6 years) posing for a photo in Turkey.

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