portrait series on the refugees who fled violence and poverty in their home countries and made the dangerous journey to germany during europe’s migrant crisis in 2015.
the portraits of individuals and their stories are a cross-section of migrantsfrom syria, iraq, afghanistan, and bangladesh. with europe facing the largest human migration since world war II, germany alone expects 1.5 million asylum seekers for 2015.
10 year-old Aziz Abdulhamad from Syria waits for a bus to temporary shelter for migrants at Munich Central Station. He is one of the many young children whos families have fled violence and unrest in their home countries and risked they lives on the trek to Germany to seek asylum.
Munich, Germany – City residents, members of the migrant community, and onlookers wait to for the newly arrived refugees to be processed and bused away at the temporary holding center at Munich Central Station
Marzia Haseli, from Ghazni, Afghanistan, currently resides in a temporary shelter for Migrants in Munich, Germany with her two daughters. They fled killings made by the Taliban in their home village. Her husband has been housed at a separate location and she doesn’t know why. “I don’t know when we can all be together,” she says, worrying about an uncertain future.
Najm Toumah, a 4th year university student left his studies in Allepo, Syria and fled to Germany where he hopes to one day continue his studies in economics. The journey with his brother took them only 11 days, whereas for others it has taken up to two months. He considers himself lucky and is “happy to stay anwhere there is peace.”
Munich, Germany – A migrant family huddles to stay warm at the holding center at Munich Central Station.
Oli Al-Thain and her one-year old son, Sanda, from Damascus, Syria arrive in Germany after traveling over one month and crossing six countries. She and her family paid over $200 per person to board a raft with 11 other people to first reach the E.U. through the Greek Islands. They recounted brutality and inhumane treatment in Macedonia where guards “tossed bread from above like we were animals.”
Arjumia Chamlu from Habiganj, Bangladesh arrives in uncertainty at Munich Central Station in Germany. He seeks to start a new life in Germany, but worries about his ability to attain asylum after hearing that priority will be given to Syrian and Iraqi migrants.
Shayma Al-Hasnawi travelled through seven countries for over a month from Baghdad, Iraq to arrive in Germany with her three sons. The family of four spent $19,000 to make the journey and has no money left upon arrival in Germany.
Rafaat Al-Hasnawi, 9, (the youngest son of Shayna Al-Hasnawi) from Baghdad arrives in Germany with his mother and two brothers. His father still remains in Iraq until he can save enough money to make the trip himself. Rafaat’s father’s prioritiy was to send his wife and kids to safety first.
Mortza Safari and his two-year old son, Omid, arrive at Munich Central Station from Afghanistan. They hope to make it to Sweden where they bellieve their chances for asylum are the greatest. They hear that Germany will be primarly accepting Syrian refugees.
Heja Rashidali, 9, waits at a temporary holding station for newly arrived migrants at Munich Central Station. He and his family traveled over 2000 miles and made several dangerous border crossings to reach Germany. They do not know where they will end up with migrants being transported to various cities in Germany or potentially other countries in the E.U.
Munich, Germany – Migrant kids play as their familes at the Munich Central Station holding center for new arrived refugees.
Qais Khalifeh, 14, from Damascus, Syria left his parents and family and made the trek to Germany in 12 days. During this time he witnessed an Iraqi baby killed by accident at the Turkish border. After the horrific event and arduous journey, he is relieved and happy to be in Germany.
Zhara Ashori, 4 years old, from Ghazni, Afghanistan. She currently resides in temporary housing with her mother and two older sisters for migrants in Munich, Germany.The family worries about their future with no permanent home or formal schooling.
Zia Skhidad arrives in Germany with his wife and 3 kids from Mazar Sharif, Afghanistan. As a Hazaras minority, they fled sectarian violence from the Taliban after 13 people were killed in his village. His youngest child doesn’t know which country she is in.
Munich, Germany – Refugees eagerly huddle onto the bus after being processed at Munich Central Station. They are taking to temporary shelters in cities and towns throughout Germany, but are not told where beforhand.