Malek Bakri, 41, his wife Abed Maiyada, 40, and their daughters, Alisar, 8, Silina, 6, Rasil, 4, Nosrin, 3, and Manisa, 1, are a Palestinian family who lived in Syria. They were forced to flee Damascus because of the war and reached Greece via Turkey in early-2019, seeking asylum.
In March 2020 they moved into an apartment in Heraklion, Crete, thanks to the EU-funded ESTIA programme. Their neighbours have welcomed them to the neighbourhood, especially 85-year-old neighbour and friend Evdokia Vassiliadou, who lives upstairs.
Malek Bakri describes Heraklion as a “second home” and tries to find a stable job.
“Dignity and education for us and for our children, this is what I ask for. I need to find a job, to be able to raise my daughters. People have embraced us here, which is why we want to stay on the island. In Crete, I feel that we can rebuild our lives”.