Photo by @markosian |
It was night when Hanan and her family boarded the boat. “I was scared,” Hanan, who is 15, and grew up in Iraq, told me. “All I saw was water.” Hanan had never seen an ocean before — and now was one of 50 other refugees whom crammed together onto a rubber boat. As it pushed out to sea and the waves started to rise, water started to rush in. “I didn’t know how to swim,” Hanan said. “I thought we would drown.” A year later, now in Germany, Hanan stands at the edge of a pool, getting ready to jump in the water for the first time. She is amongst a handful of other refugees learning to swim as a way of overcoming their fear of water and the journey they made.