Until they find their own Ithaca, let’s open our hands and embrace them”, Georgia, retired from Thessaloniki, hosts the 12-member family from Syria.

A beautiful story of solidarity and smooth coexistence among 13 people, unfolds in Thessaloniki. This story began when Georgia decided to open her paternal house for the 12-member family of Souliman from the Daraa Governorate of Syria.

Parents and their ten children began together the long journey from Syria to flee away from the war, that destroyed their dreams for the future and ended up threatening their lives. The first stop of the trip was Turkey. Then, they managed to reach Lesvos island by a small boat along with many compatriots of them. After remaining for a short time there, the next stop for the family was the northern border of Idomeni and the last, the accommodation structure in Oreokastro.

The 43-year-old mother, Naima narrates the difficult conditions she lived together with her ten children and her husband in Idomeni and ends up saying that “we cried because we were feeling sorry for ourselves”.  Today, she lives a different reality with happy moments, full of gratitude and safety and feels very happy that “someone who does not know me opened her home for me”.

Naima, mother of ten children, both juvenile and adult, manages to always smile, while at home she takes care of everyone! Of course, Georgia supports the household of Naima and helped the family to create a garden, where the family cultivates their own fruits and vegetables and they have also their own eggs. The two women share identical worries as all mothers around the world and they find in that too, similarities that exceed every other difference between them – religion, nationality, language. Naima’s dream is to provide her children with a beautiful and safe life as well as with the opportunity to study.

Georgia does not regret for the decision to open her parental house and host the 12-member family, while expressing what she felt as an observer of the refugee crisis – “the living conditions in the camps were terrible and inhuman leading these people a life of misery“.

This act of solidarity by Georgia is an example of generosity and peaceful coexistence among many and different people, while she encourages others to do the same; “open their hands and hug the ones in need“.

Let us introduce the members of this family via the #WeAreFamily project, here.

*The Hosting Scheme Project Home for Hope is implemented by SolidarityNow with the support of UNHCR GREECE and EU funding.