TIME

NO WAY HOME

A SYRIAN FAMILY SEEKING ASYLUM GETS AN ANSWER
Minhel and the boys watch TV in a hotel room in Kastoria, Greece. Their lives are still in limbo

ILLHAM ALARABI IS ONE OF THOSE INDOMITABLE women who takes everything in stride. The kind of unflappable mother who can single-handedly extract her oldest son from a squabble with a bully, soothe the teething pains of another and bathe a baby, all while supper simmers on the stove. Traveling 1,500 miles from her bombed-out village near Deir ez-Zor in Syria to Greece was a hardship, to be sure, but she always comforted her family with faith that they were headed for something better. Even life in squalid Greek refugee camps, where she spent eight months pregnant with her fifth child, offered opportunities to make friends, build communities and find something to laugh about, whether it was the bad food or the midnight treks to the portable toilets in the snow.

But after more than three years of relentless optimism, first as a refugee in Turkey, then again in Greece, she

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