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Friday 21 July 2017

Baby Zena is a ray of hope for family fleeing war

Ghasan Alasora, his wife Dema Albaker and their children, Arsharf (7), Hala (2), and one-month-old baby Zena Photo: Frank McGrath
Ghasan Alasora, his wife Dema Albaker and their children, Arsharf (7), Hala (2), and one-month-old baby Zena Photo: Frank McGrath

Ryan Nugent

In a Roscommon refugee orientation centre for Syrians fleeing war, lives two-month-old Irish-born Zena Alasora.

She was born in Dublin's Rotunda Hospital in March, a mere fortnight after her parents arrived here.

Her father Ghasan and mother Dema fled Syria with their family last year after both their home and Mr Alasora's business were destroyed.

Their other children Arsharf (4) and Hala (2) have witnessed the harsh realities of war-torn Syria - the bombs, the missiles. For them, they are finally living a normal life.

"It's a nice country, really good, everyone has been so friendly," Mr Alasora said.

However, there are a few things to adapt to.

"The weather is a lot colder, four seasons in the one day, cold, sunny, raining...everything in one."

More than a year ago, the family moved from Syria to Turkey and then on to Greece on an overcrowded boat.

"The boat was very dangerous, there were 45 people on the boat, it was only about eight metres and we stayed in the sea for about two hours," he said.

"I lost everything in Syria. It was very dangerous, there were bombs, planes, missiles, everything.

"I am a pharmacist, I lost my pharmacy and my house from planes (air missiles).

"This is a new life, everything is good. I think we will have a good future here."

Irish Independent

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