Refugee and migrant arrivals in Europe are expected to reach more than one million before the end of 2015, according to the International Organisation for Migration (IOM).
That would make this year’s arrivals nearly five times the total in 2014.
The organisation said that 990,671 migrants and refugees from Africa and the Middle East have entered Europe so far this year, via a combination of irregular land and sea routes.
In the first 6 months of 2015, 137,000 people crossed the Mediterranean Sea into Europe. The vast majority, according to UNHCR, were “fleeing from war, conflict or persecution.”
A third of those men, women and children who made it across the sea into Italy or Greece were from Syria.
The journey is not for the faint of heart. In April alone, 1,308 people drowned or went missing trying to cross the Mediterranean.
Aamer keeps a handwritten note in his bedroom. He found it alongside a donated microwave when he moved to Edinburgh last month. It was a welcome note, whose anonymous writer had wished Aamer all the best in his new life in Scotland.
Aamer is not one of the Syrians who have been flown to Scotland from the camps in Lebanon and Jordan. He fled Syria at the start of 2012 and hasn’t been back since.
Over the course of three years he spent time in Egypt, Turkey, Greece, England and now, having finally received his refugee status, has decided to make new life for himself in Scotland.
His journey is one of a young, relatively well-off Syrian man, studying computer science at university to a refugee, separated from his family and starting anew in a foreign country