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Refugees: The Black Route of Death From Syria

Ahmed Jinaid, a 42-year-old former deliveryman who makes his way from Aleppo, Syria to Gmünd, Austria with his brother-in-law, niece, and nephew; a few thousand euros; and a $275 Samsung Galaxy phone. He’d left his six kids behind in Syria, along with his wife, who was recovering from a bullet wound, and his younger brother, who was in a wheelchair after being hit in the spine by a bullet.

For Ahmed, the distance between Aleppo and Gmünd is measured not just in miles (an arduous 2,000), but in conniving smugglers, extortionist gang members, an untreated goiter and slipped disk, and 15 days in a Hungarian jail.

“We would only die once in Syria,” Ahmed says at one point, after his brother-in-law is nearly hit by a car in Belgrade, Serbia. “Here we are dying 5,000 times.”

The Jinaid family’s journey embodies not only the “desperation of war,” but also the “dysfunction of the European Union” in the face of the world’s worst refugee crisis since World War II:

Read more: The Desperation Behind the Migrant Tragedy in Austria - The Atlantic

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