„They, too, are God’s children “

Ribera is one of those small, bleak Sicilian villages that people tend to forget immediatly after passing through. One Syrian family did not even have the chance of forgetting. The main street leads straight through the village, going slightly uphill towards the beautiful and well maintained cemetery. Many flowers adorn the graves and the wall holding the grave niches. Next to the wall, the view opens up to a wide hilly landscape. The marble slab closing up the second grave niche displays an oval-shaped photograph: A boy, large dark eyes, a shy smile on his face, slender shoulders. It reads Muhammed Abdullah and two dates: 3rd of March 2010 and 2nd of April 2014. The boat that brought him and his family sank off the shore of Sicily. The parents were rescued and firmly believed that their son was still alive. Their hopes were set on a month-long complicated rescue operation. They did not give up the faith that he may still be waiting for them in some random place in Italy. They ran a public search also on Italian TV. A man, the doctor who had once performed the postmortem on the dead child, recognized the four-year old boy on the photograph. The last thing his parents could do for their son was to attach this photo and his name to the grave.