Fleeing Syria in a wheelchair - the story of Nujeen Mustafa


29/10/2018 17:55:00
Print
     .

Born with cerebral palsy, the 16-year-old has spent her life in a wheelchair. She had little formal education in Syria but taught herself English by watching US soap operas. In 2014 her home town of Kobane was at the centre of fierce fighting between Isis militants and US-backed Kurdish forces, forcing her family to flee across the border into Turkey.

 

Her story first came to the world’s attention when Fergal Keane interviewed her for the BBC News. Accompanied by her older sister Nisreen, she’d spent the previous weeks travelling over Land from the Turkish/Syrian border to the coastal town of Bodrum, where they’d paid smugglers to take them on a dangerously overcrowded dinghy to the Greek island of Lesbos.

 

From there it had been a 14-hour ferry ride to Piraeus on the Greek mainland, followed by a bus journey across Macedonia to the Serbian/Hungarian border, which is where she met Keane and the BBC film crew. 

 

It was a grueling trek that would have been daunting for even the fittest and most able-bodied, and she still had hundreds of miles to go, but her courage won over everyone who watched the bulletin, including Keane who was visibly moved by her cheerful refusal to see herself as a victim. “You should fight to get what you want in this world,” she told him, “so yes; it’s a journey for a new life.”

 

That new life finally began for Nujeen at the end of September when she was reunited with her brother Bland and sister Nahda in Germany. She has since claimed asylum and is now living in a two-bedroom apartment on the outskirts of Cologne with Nisreen and Nahda and her four children, and recently started attending a specialist school for pupils with disabilities.

 

Prize-winning journalist and the co-author of smash New York Times bestseller I Am Malala, Christina Lamb, tells the inspiring true story of this remarkable young hero: Nujeen Mustafa in her book (Nujeen: One Girl's Incredible Journey from War-torn Syria in a Wheelchair).

 

 

PUKmedia Follow up 


 

Commemoration of 3 Kurdish activists shot in Paris


Thursday, Kurds saluted the seventh anniversary of the assassination of 3 Kurdish women activists in France.

 

The crime took place on January 9, 2013, targeting 3 female Kurdi...


»  3 Kurdish girls die in a fire in Norway
»  Kurdish teenager plays for several European football clubs
 

Quarantined citizen in Sulaymaniyah: services provided are impossible for major countries


One of the citizens inside a quarantine center in the city of Sulaymaniyah said that what the medical and administrative staff provide is not possible for major countries to provide, and that the q...


»  Susan Rice: U.S. has ‘sold out the Kurds’ with Syria move
»  INTERVIEW: Kurdish leader Ilham Ahmed on security in North and East Syria
 

‘Wash Our Hands? Some People Can’t Wash Their Kids for a Week.’


In northwestern Syria, where a million people who have fled the civil war are sheltering in muddy tent camps and abandoned buildings, the spread of the coronavirus could wreak untold disaster on a ...


»  Postponement of burial ceremonies for Kojo mass graves victims
»  Consultations begin to choose new Iraqi PM

Caricature