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I’m standing on the shore outside Zuwarah city in Libya. The salty smell of the sand mixed with seawater is strong. I hear the sloshing of the waves. It’s July 2014. I am on my way to Italy and I wait, looking out at the huge anchored ship a few hundred meters off the coast. I wonder if it’s waiting for us? It´s big — bigger than anything I´ve ever seen. I take a deep breath – after two weeks of waiting, it is almost time . I look at the ship and forget all my pain, hunger, sadness, and broken pride. I could almost cry!

It´s the first time that Im facing the Mediterranean sea with the idea that I am going to cross it, in the middle of the night with hundreds of strangers.

We wait. Three hours pass. Then, at one o´clock that night, a twenty-meter fishing boat approaches the shore. It can’t be that we’re were going to Italy in this small boat. Impossible. Something’s wrong here. It must be a nightmare, or an illusion, or a silly joke. There are too many of us for this small strange old blue boat. We are 282 hope seekers.

Mohannad Sharrouf
Mohannad Sharrouf is a Syrian activist who lives in The Netherlands since September 2014 as a refugee. He has a Bachelor of English Language and Literature from Aleppo University, Syria. He worked as a translator, interpreter, tourist guide, and English teacher. After telling his story as a refugee, in public schools, he decided to write about his experience and give the readers the opportunity to read real refugee stories in RFG Magazine. In addition, he wants to share his views on the Dutch society as a new comer with the hope that this sharing would create more understandings and bonds between 'The guest' and 'The host'.