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Boat Sinking Leaves at Least 17 People Dead

By: Annabelle Ma

When 750 migrants boarded an unstable boat, little did they know it would become one of the Mediterranean’s deadliest shipwrecks. Everyone was forced to board this boat for a different reason. For some, like Thaer Khalid al-Rahal, it was because of cancer.

Khalid, a four-year-old living in a Jordanian refugee camp, is diagnosed with leukemia, a dangerous type of cancer. As his prognosis worsened, the doctors said that he needed a bone-marrow transplant. But his father didn’t have enough money to pay for the transplant, so he needed to go to Europe to earn some money.

“Thaer thought he didn’t have a choice,” said his cousin, Abdulrahman Tousif al-Rahal.

In Egypt, Mohamed Abdelnasser can’t earn enough money to support his family, which was why he was also on the same boat.

Before the boat departed, the migrants spent a lot of time waiting in Libya. While waiting, many migrants had an uneasy feeling about the boat.

Matloob Hussein, a Pakistani man who had lived in Greece, called his brother while waiting in Libya. “He said the boat was very bad,” Matloob’s br

other, Adiil recalled. “He said they had loaded people on the boat like cattle.”

The boat left from Tobruk, Libya on June 8th and only 104 survivors reached Greece. 82 bodies have been found, while the rest have disappeared into the sea.

Families are anxiously waiting for news about the people who haven’t been found yet. Javed Aslam, a Pakistani community leader in Greece, said that he has seen more than 200 families asking for updates.

Adiil came looking for his brother at the Malaksa reception center, where all the survivors were. Several Pakistanis recognized Matloob, but no one has seen him since the accident. But a rescue mission to find these missing people is still ongoing, so Adiil and many other families still aren’t losing hope.


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