Ragida’s Story: A Syrian Family’s Life in Greece

Ragida, 24, and her husband Moayyed, 28, recently welcomed a beautiful daughter. Baby Elena was born by C-section in a Greek hospital; her parents, and one-year-old brother Haji, are refugees from Raqqa, Syria.

The family fled their home when Ragida was heavily pregnant with Haji, as the intense conflict in and around Raqqa was only getting worse.

It took around ten days for Ragida and Moayyed to reach Turkey. From there, they crossed the Mediterranean in an overcrowded dinghy with other refugees.

Ragida said that she wanted to make the journey while pregnant, because her baby would be safer inside her. She was afraid that he would die if she was holding him.

Just four days after arriving on Lesbos, Haji was born by caesarean.

Haji was unwell, and it was an incredibly difficult time for the family. They were transferred to Athens, where they stayed in an apartment for seven months. While they enjoyed being in the city, and soon made friends, they had to share the apartment with another family and therefore had little privacy.

Five months ago, Ragida, Moayyed and Haji arrived in LM Village, a housing project near Patros. By this point, she was pregnant with Elena.

Ragida and baby in LM Village refugee housing project, Greece

Given that Haji was born by C-section, Ragida was booked in to the local Greek hospital for Elena’s birth. It was a confusing and worrying time for the family, as Ragida stayed in the hospital for almost a week without knowing when the caesarean would take place. After three days, the doctors prepped her for the operation; they then postponed it for another two days.

She is in pain following the operation, but is not allowed to take painkillers; she is unsure why this is the case.

Yet in spite of these challenges, Elena is healthy and happy, and Ragida is doing well.

From the photos, you can see what an adoring and caring mother Ragida is.

Ragida and baby in LM Village refugee housing project, Greece

One of our partner organisations, Refugee Support, spoke to her while she was resting in bed, at home, with her new baby sleeping in her lap. Moayyed is very attentive, and is not allowing Ragida to do anything while she recovers from the birth!

Ragida and Moayyed want to get leave to remain, so that he can find work and earn a living. However, the couple think that this may be difficult because of the economic crisis in Greece.

 


We wish Ragida, Moayyed, Haji and Elena all the very best, and hope that their status is secured soon.

The family’s story was initially shared by Refugee Support, one of our partner organisations that work in LM Village.

Refugee Support is one of the 35 grassroots groups that we support across Greece. We rely on your generosity to help them, and to help families like Ragida and Moayyed’s.

With winter coming, the need is only increasing: we need to prepare the camps for the harsh weather, as well as ensure that we can provide everything from warming and nutritious food to medical care. Please, if you are able to donate, do so here. Thank you – we couldn’t do our work without people like you.

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