Monday, September 23, 2013


The world may have pulled back from the brink but, as diplomats continue to negotiate and politicians continue with their sparring and rhetoric, there has been no ceasefire in the civil wars which are causing so much suffering. Thus the "boatloads of sorrow" carrying desperate migrants towards Europe continue to arrive in Sicily's ports.

As many as 1,000 migrants arrived at the weekend and of these, 634 landed at Siracusa or on the Island of Lampedusa. One inadequate, 20-metre fishing boat which was letting in water was signalled to the Sicilian Coast Guard by the Red Cross on Friday and was then spotted, 140 miles off Siracusa, by a Coast Guard plane. A Romanian patrol boat working for the European external border agency Frontex went to the aid of the passengers and was quickly joined by two Sicilian Coast Guard motorboats. Between them, they brought the boat to safety at Siracusa. On board were 299 people, all believed to be Egyptian or Syrian, including 114 minors - among them an eight-year-old and a newborn baby - 54 women and a man who was cradling the body of his 22-year-old daughter in his arms.

Izdihar Maham Abdulla was travelling towards what she and her father believed would be a better life. They had set out on the boat from Egypt a week before but the journey proved too much for Izdihar, who was diabetic and had no insulin with her. She died two days before reaching Sicilian waters and her father had held her body, covered with a few jumpers to accord her what dignity he could, for all that time. A doctor called to the scene as the boat landed was able to confirm the cause and approximate time of death.

Unless her family indicate that they have other wishes, Izdihar's funeral and burial will take place on Wednesday, according to Muslim rites, in the churchyard of Siracusa Cathedral and in the presence of the Archbishop and Mayor of Siracusa.

One Egyptian man has been arrested on suspicion of people-trafficking in connection with this case.

It is estimated that 9,000 migrants have arrived on Sicily's shores since the beginning of this year.


Bev said...

Where do those 9,000 people go?

Moggsy said...

No winners here. I figure one man's "people trafficker" is another person's desperate hope?

Lee said...

It's all so very sad...and as has been said so many times before...there seems to be no answers to this ongoing situation. People are so desperate...with the little hope they have disintegrating day by day.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Hi, Bev. Good question. Well, first they get put into the "Welcome Centre" which will probably be overcrowded but that is not the Italians' fault, nor theirs. Then they will probably be dispersed to other centres in Italy while the authorities try to decide who has a case to stay. Some are sent back.
Hi, Moggsy. I think they are "people traffickers" to everone but these people feel they have no alternative. Despertately sad as you say, Lee.

Whispering Walls said...

So Pope Francis didn't manage to achieve any practical solution for these people?

Trubes said...

That is so sad Pat, it seems relentless. Is there a charity set up on Sicily to help these poor people, I would willingly make a donation,
love Di..xx

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Oh, Di, you are so kind. I'm sure there are charities and I'll look into it. x Hi, WW. I think hois visit had some very positive outcomes but he can hardly be blamed for what happened at sea. There is a will to help these poor souls here but the whole burden should not fall on Italy. It's a European situation.

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

How very sad. It reminds me of refugee Cuban "boat people" who try to float into Florida. So many don't make it or are sent back.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Hi, Pat. Yes, so sad.


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