Kareem, who two years in the past fled the chaos brought on by the civil battle in his house nation, Syria, has discovered himself as soon as extra in the course of a battle zone – this time in Sudan.
Now he’s homeless in Port Sudan searching for a approach out and fearing that he might haven’t any alternative however to return to Syria.
The 23-year-old used to work within the Sudanese capital, Khartoum, for an organization that offered him with a flat, a automotive and a month-to-month wage of $500 (£400). It was sufficient to make ends meet and ship cash to his household again house, he says.
A month in the past, he was even pondering of proposing to a girl he knew and had already advised his mom about her.
“My life was positive in Sudan. I couldn’t ask for extra,” he advised the BBC in one among a sequence of voice and textual content messages explaining what had occurred.
However on 15 April, when the combating between two army forces began to destroy components of the capital, Khartoum, Kareem felt that a part of his life had been destroyed as nicely.
He says a Syrian man he knew nicely was shot and killed.
Fearful that he would possibly endure the identical destiny, on the morning of 24 April he joined a bunch of greater than two dozen different Syrians and fled the capital for Port Sudan on the Crimson Sea.
The 2-day street journey value them a small fortune. In regular occasions, the fare could be $40 however the evacuees have been charged $400 every.
He strongly believes that unhealthy luck is chasing him and his fellow Syrians.
“Historical past is repeating itself,” says Kareem, whose identify now we have modified to guard his identification. “Right here, we’re going by precisely what we had lived by in Syria.
“We’re cursed. I’ve not lived my life but.”
Caught in Port Sudan, Kareem is aware of others who’ve managed to get on planes to flee to security. One key issue appears to be about funding.
“You understand, it’s at all times about cash – those that have cash can at all times survive,” he texted after charging his cellphone at a mosque.
Many Syrians fled to Sudan in the course of the civil battle. There isn’t any official report of their quantity, however some estimates put it as excessive as 150,000.
He mentioned that many Syrians, who’ve cash or whose households are rich and have resident’s permits in neighbouring international locations, have managed to get out.
However he couldn’t.
He’s the youngest member of a modest household. He grew up in Idlib however fled to Aleppo years in the past the place they lived beneath siege. His relations have been relying on the cash he used to earn in Sudan.
When he first made contact with the BBC, Kareem sounded dissatisfied about what was occurring, however he was nonetheless hopeful.
He was itemizing his choices: “I can go to Jeddah [in Saudi Arabia] after which discover one other alternative. Or I can journey to Ethiopia – it will value me $400.”
He knew that he couldn’t discover refuge in neighbouring Egypt, as he couldn’t pay for an costly vacationer visa.
“We ran out of cash to purchase meals, so how would any of us borrow $1,350? I labored in Sudan for 2 years to save lots of $1,000, which I’ve already spent [to get to Port Sudan].”
As issues have progressed, Kareem’s voice notes have been getting more and more grim. His choices have been shrinking by the day.
He has been making an attempt to evaluate his scenario based mostly on the updates he hears from officers and others whereas wandering across the port.
He learnt that there was no level ready for a ship to take him to Saudi Arabia as he had no household connection there or a technique to assure that he wouldn’t keep within the kingdom.
‘Black hair turned gray’
Additionally, his passport is expiring quickly, which might stop him from touring to Ethiopia or some other nation.
Now he sounds numb. Desensitised. He has no updates to share.
“I swear to God, I do not really feel something any extra. My black hair has partly turned gray. I could return to Syria with no concern any extra. I will not care any extra. I’ve nothing else to lose.”
He by no means imagined returning to Syria as this is able to imply doing obligatory army service. He most well-liked to work overseas and construct a greater life.
However even returning house is dear and tough.
A volunteer who helps within the evacuation at Port Sudan advised the BBC that there could be each day flights to Syria till 15 Might and that every flight had two classes: industrial and evacuation.
On the industrial aspect a ticket will be purchased by journey brokers in Syria, whereas the seats for evacuation are given without cost to individuals whose names are on the lists.
Precedence is given to aged individuals, these with well being issues, pregnant girls and households.
A industrial tickets prices $450.
Kareem says his household has been making an attempt to safe a ticket – however all flights have been booked, they have been advised.
“All issues might be solved with $3,000,” he says whereas explaining his dream plan.
“I can renew my passport with $300, then I pay for the customer visa to Egypt after which I can go to Turkey, the place my sister lives. Then I can discover a technique to go to Europe.”
“However who can lend me $3,000 lately?”
Extra reporting by Mays Baki