When Fahim Mudei (22) left his hometown of Mogadishu in Somalia less than three years ago, he could not have imagined that his journey would eventually take him to Serbia and that this is where he would wish to finally settle. At the time, all he wished for was to save himself from the death threats he was receiving from al-Shabab, a militant organization intent on toppling the Somali government. He succeeded in saving himself, but his mother and brother paid the ultimate price.
Both were killed in terrorist attacks.
Fahim's mother was shot three years ago while she was on the street. The bullet hit her in the head and she fell into a coma. After a few days spent fighting for her life, she finally succumbed to her injuries and died in hospital. His brother, a bank officer, was killed at the beginning of this year in a major terrorist attack in the center of Mogadishu. He was killed by a bomb and his remains were never found.
“I left Somalia on the 8 of March 2015. In Mogadishu I worked for a Turkish company. I did several other jobs at the same time, but it was for my work that I began receiving death threats from the members of al-Shabab. I had a good life, but I did not feel safe. As the threats became more frequent and when it became clear that I could very easily lose my life, I decided to journey to Turkey where I had previously been a student and where I obtained my diploma in agriculture,” began Fahim as he recounted his story, three years on.
On account of his having worked for a Turkish company, he succeeded in obtaining a tourist visa and eventually arrived in Istanbul, from where continued on towards Izmir. From there, aided by smugglers and human traffickers, he boarded a boat and sailed towards the Greek island of Chios. He says he did not get any help in Turkey and was forced to leave. The first attempt to leave Turkey failed. He was arrested by the police, after which he spent two weeks in detention. After his second attempt to flee Turkey he managed to reach the Greek coast on a small boat.
"It was a small boat, and there were dozens of people on it. They were mostly families with children. It was dangerous, too many of us were on board and the sea was turbulent. I was afraid, but somehow we arrived alive. To this day I wonder at the courage I had at that moment to entrust my life and wellbeing into the hands of smugglers,” Fahim says.