Tipp: “From Syria to Brussels” – Interactive Map Illustrates Refugee’s Arduous Journey

Imagine you are a young Syrian and you are about to finish medical school and start your life as a doctor. But then war breaks out and changes everything…

This is exactly what happened to Dahham Alsoud, 25, who used to live and study in Damascus, Syria’s capital. He recounts that it was only weeks after the Islamic State had conquered eastern Syria that the Syrian army suffered from a sever shortage of men to fight for President Assad. They then started to draft “anyone who was fit to fight” – regardless of age or occupation – from streets, at checkpoints and even from the privacy of their homes. Daham Alsoud, who did not want to die fighting IS, tells how he tried to evade recruitment for months. He failed his exams on purpose in order to prolong his studies for a year and even got married, since heads of family were less likely to get drafted. His attempts however were futile. The Syrian civil war raged on and Alsoud had to flee the country shortly after graduating in 2015 – having to leave his newly-wed wife behind.
Jules Johnston, author for the magazine Politico, interviewed Dahham Alsoud about his dangerous flight. Based on this interview he created an incredibly captivating map that allows readers to follow the various stops Alsoud made during his 16-day-journey from Damascus over the Balkan route to Belgium.

The full interview including the map can be found here.

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