In the summer of 2015 a young women called Salma left the Yarmouk refugee camp in Damascus, Syria with her husband and two small children. Along with millions of other Syrians, they were trapped between fighting groups in the civil war without sufficient food, electricity or water. Salma and her family decided to try to get to Germany. They did not know much about Germany, but saw it as their best option. By taxi and bus they travelled to the Turkish border, where again they ended up in a refugee camp. Desperate to leave, they paid people smugglers to help them continue their journey. At the Turkish coast Salma and her family, together with 60 other people boarded a small boat to go to Greece. From Greece, they crossed into North Macedonia, then Serbia, and on to Hungary where Salma worried that being fingerprinted by the authorities could jeopardise an asylum claim in Germany. At each stop Salma faced uncertainty whether she and her family would make it to Germany. She also had to pay more money to smugglers to move on. Hiding from the Hungarian police, Salma, her family and the small group with which they were travelling made it to Budapest. There they found out that the German and Austrian governments had temporarily suspended the EU asylum regulations that usually require registration by asylum seekers in the first EU country that had been entered (in their case, Greece). This decision meant they could board a train to Munich, and at the culmination of a 1,500 mile-long trek, apply for asylum in Germany (Vinograd and Adams 2015).
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