From Syria to the Olympics | USAIM

From Syria to the Olympics

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Germany - Sara and Yusra, two sisters from Syria, left their country in November 2015, writes Boryana Ivanova. Sara, the youngest, speaks about their journey and how strong and invincible they thought they were before that night.

“We knew we could reach Greece,” says Sara. “My sister and I were not afraid of dying. We were professional swimmers back in Syria.”

But when they saw the boat in Turkey, their confidence suddenly vanished. “Before you go on the boat, people tell you that you are going to die. So the first thing you think about when you get on that boat is death. You don't think of anything else.”

So as the two sisters and 20 other people boarded the boat, they feared the worst. “I told my sister that if the boat capsized, we shouldn’t try to help others but just swim away together and save ourselves. We can’t help everybody, there are too many people.”

“However, when the engine stopped and the boat started deflating and taking in water, I felt that I could not let the other people drown and only save my own life. It wouldn't be fair,” she says.


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