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Hasko's Story: A Perilous Journey from Syria to Europe

Meet Hasko… Hasko comes from Damascus in Syria. Since civil war broke out in 2011, the violence, conflict and destruction have ravaged the population. Hasko and his wife became concerned for their and their children’s safety. They decided that they had to leave. Their home has since been destroyed.

Hasko and his family made their way to Turkey. Without work, Hasko knew that he had to get to Europe. The only way was to risk his life on an old and decrepit boat. When the boat ran out of fuel (after many days at sea)  they were rescued by a red cross boat.

Hasko was brought to Italy. He travelled through Europe until he reached Scandinavia. One year later Hasko was reunited with his family. 

The 'Perilous Journey' trilogy includes Hasko's, Khalid's and Mohammad's stories. The comics were serialised in The Guardian and Aftenposten (11-13 Nov 2015). They were exhibited at the Nobel Peace Centre, Oslo (12 Nov 2015). They were also featured in 'A perilous journey: Stories of Migration' at Brunei Gallery, SOAS University of London (April-June 2017). The project was generously funded by Norwegian People's Aid.

Discussion Points

  1. What are your initial thoughts and feelings after reading Hasko’s Story?

  2. Why did Hasko have to leave Syria? Why did Hasko have to leave Turkey?

  3. Do you think he is a migrant (someone who moves find work or better living conditions) or a refugee (someone fleeing conflict, persecution, or natural disasters)? Why?

  4. What would you do if you found yourself in Hasko’s position?

  5. What does it mean to apply for asylum? (NB seeking asylum in another country as a political refugee)

  6. How do you think Hasko feels now?

  7. What could governments do to prevent stories like Hasko’s?

  8. Has Hasko’s story impacted the way you think about refugees?

  9. How does Hasko’s story compare to the stories in the media?

  10. How was Hasko received when he arrived in Italy?

  11. How are you different, and similar to Hasko?

  12. How can we help to integrate refugees and asylum seekers into our communities?

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