TRABZON, Turkey — They had reached the end of the road.
Sitting on a park bench in this small Turkish city on the Black Sea, Sayyid Ali Hussaini held his 9-year-old daughter as she slept. His wife Mahbube huddled next to him as the hours ticked past into the night. He had given all he had to the smugglers who shepherded him and his family out of Afghanistan and across the mountains in a grueling, monthlong journey through Iran to reach Turkey. Now, they weren’t sure where they would sleep.
“When it’s a matter of life or death for your family, everything changes,” Hussaini says.
He walked a few steps away to have a smoke, and a stranger approached his wife and daughter with an unexpected question: “Are you new?”
As it happened, the man was also an Afghan and lives in Trabzon. He took the little family in, letting them stay in a spare room in a shared apartment. That’s where they spent about a week, keeping an eye on the news back home while they navigated the bureaucracy of becoming refugees in Turkey. [see the ful article]