Baby Shana was born in Spain while her parents were en route from Syria to Germany. Now the family has a new apartment and Shana is her mother Helin's biggest source of hope.
"Stop, give me your passport," said the police at the border between Spain and France, recalls Helin in the video above. At that point, Helin, 25, Mohammed, 29, and Vian, 3, were unsure whether their journey from Syria to Germany would continue or whether they would be sent back to their war-torn home country. They left Syria in late 2014 and spent four months in transit, traveling on foot to Turkey, then to Algeria, Spain and finally to Germany.
Along the way, a miracle happened. Helin gave birth to her second daughter, Shana. When the family arrived in Germany, they were first sent to an accommodation for refugees near Bonn. It was there that volunteers from the Evangelical Free Church in Bonn met the young family and decided to support them by organizing an apartment, collecting donated furniture, and helping with their move to a new home.
Mohammed was trained as a butcher in Syria and was eager to work as soon as possible. In the meantime, he has found a job. Helin has a knack for languages. She speaks Arabic, Kurdish and some English, and has swiftly been learning German during the eight months she's been in the country. She dreams of working as a translator one day.
For now, she has her hands full with two small daughters. Shana was conceived in Syria and delivered in Spain. She's a bridge between the family's homeland and new home - linking treasured memories with hope for the future.
Shana cried a lot when they arrived in Germany, explains Helin in the film. As history has shown, struggle so often precedes progress.