Athens, Greece – After fleeing war-ravaged Syria, waiting in Turkey, passing through a Greek island and traversing the mainland last year, Fahd al-Mekki and his family reached the Idomeneo, a crossing into Macedonia, only to be turned back.
Macedonian border guards denied the family passage, telling the 53-year-old father that Jobar, his hometown near Damascus, was a safe area and denied them passage.
Jobar has been the site of many battles and more than five years on since the start of the Syrian war, it is unrecognizable in a state of ruin.
Mekki's wife and three children eventually made it to Germany with the help of smugglers more than a year ago, but he remains stranded in Athens, the Greek capital.
"My house was one of the first homes destroyed in Jobar," he remembered, his eyes welling up with tears as he recalled his flight from the civil war that has engulfed Syria for more than six years.
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