Davide Degano
Davide Degano





















Refugee Camp in ’s-Gravendeel,
The Netherlands










Vicini Lontani, Unwanted Loneliness


Rajab El-Aswad, is a 54-year-old Syrian refugee from
the city of Raqqua. His story, in many ways, is similar
to that of other refugees whom have had to flee from
the war. A husband and a father, who had to suddenly
face the consequences brought to him by the conflict.

He first fled to Turkey after having walked for four days
through the mountains. After that, he paid around 600$
to travel from Turkey to Greece by sea, however shortly
after that he came to find out that all the assurances on
the quality and safety of the trip proved to be lies. During
the journey, many died “Allah saved me instead, after
you see certain things that not even words can explain,
you really understand the importance of Allah’s teaching.
He saved me”.

He then continued the trip through Slovenia and
Germany, where he was asked from the local police to
leave his finger prints for “control regulations”. He was
not explained that this action would legally stop him
from seeing his son again (who fled from Syria to
The Netherlands the year before). In fact, Germany
now became his “first” country as registered Refugee
in Europe, hence obliged to stay there. Once Rajab
finally got the documents he had previously signed
translated, he escaped from Germany to The Netherlands,
were he received asylum and assistance at the refugee
camp in ’s-Gravendeel. Meanwhile he managed to
bring his family to a safer place, Turkey, by selling his
house for only 2000$, simply out of necessity
and desperation.

Even though he tries to find peace in his praying and
readings, the absence of his family weighs heavily on
his heart. In addition to this, not being able to see
his son - even though he is living in just 40 minutes by
train from him in Amsterdam. What aggravates his
pain even more, are the constant promises that his
son soon will be allowed to visit him. “Every day I
prepare something extra to eat just in case he suddenly
shows up. In my room there is even one extra bed,
ready for him.”






















“In my room I always have a bed left for him”





















Refugee Camp in ’s-Gravendeel,
The Netherlands





















“Every day I prepare something extra to eat
just in case he suddenly shows up”





















Even though he tries to find peace in his praying and readings,
the absence of his family weights heavily on his heart.