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06 September 2018

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Dler, standing in his bike repair shop in Dohuk, Iraq. © IOM 2018/Raber Aziz

Rebuilding a Life from Scratch

Iraq – Dler left Iraq in the summer of 2016, hoping to make a better living for himself and his family in Germany. Here is his account of the journey to Europe, and the decision to come back home.

“We wanted to go to Germany by any means necessary; I had heard that [they were] good to refugees. I had a car in Iraq and I owned a store for repairing bicycles and motorbikes; I sold everything to collect USD 20,000. During Ramadan in 2016, my wife, my brother and I went to Turkey by bus. From there we paid a smuggler to take us to Greece and Bulgaria.”

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Alana Murphy left New York City on 12 May and reached the Pacific Ocean on 7 August 2018. Photo: Alana Murphy

She Has Cycled More Than 4,300 Miles Across the United States, Meeting Refugees

United States  Alana Murphy has biked more than 4,300 miles across the United States, meeting people who came to the country as refugees. “For the majority of our nation’s history, crossing from East to West has served as the embodiment of progress itself. It represented opportunity, hope, and adventure."

Her coast to coast epic trek, dubbed The Beautiful Crossing, chronicles one person’s journey via bicycle across the United States, but more than that, it is dedicated to a very specific group of Americans – those who came to the country as refugees through the United States Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP).  

"People with a refugee background have completed many different “crossings.” Some have journeyed over vast deserts and deep oceans in order to find safety for themselves and their families. They have worked hard to learn a new language and adopt a new culture.  Many have gone back to school and acquired new skills in order to build new career paths for themselves in the United States,” says Murphy. 

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Alejandra: "When migrating for work reasons you must open yourself to new challenges or, as I see it, new adventures!"

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  • UN News Centre reported on how several UN agencies provided aid to those affected by hurricanes Irma and Maria in the Caribbean one year ago.
  • AFP reported that according to IOM, more than 400 West African migrants have been rescued from the desert in northern Niger, near the border with Algeria.
  • City Lab reported about young migrants who attempt the dangerous crossing to Europe from the Spanish enclave of Melilla in North Africa.
  • The ASEAN Post reported about a Cambodian employment website which seeks to address the main reasons human trafficking takes place: the allure of job opportunities and higher wages in foreign countries.

  • BBC spoke to migrants who, instead of continuing on to other European countries, start a new life in Spain.
  • ILO reported that Qatar introduced a new legislation to ensure the freedom of movement of migrant workers, marking a significant step in upholding the fundamental rights of migrant workers in the Gulf state.