Interview with a people smuggler

Al Jazeera speaks to a smuggler, who himself takes a journey to Europe in search of better life.

by

    People smugglers take migrants on short boat trips from Turkey's Aegean coastline to nearby Greek islands. In some places, the distance between despair and hope for a new life in Europe can be just 25km.

    "I have never sailed a diesel engine boat before but I have to sail it tomorrow," people smuggler, Abu Sharif, tells Al Jazeera as he himself prepares to take the perilous journey to Europe. "I've never sailed out this deep."

    Sharif, who is from Syria, made quick money from human smuggling but has decided to quit the profession.

    "When I send you out to sea you'll either make it or you won't. Either way I'll make my money," he said.

    He is just one of hundreds cashing in on Turkey's massive refugee population - the majority Syrian.

    Al Jazeera's Bernard Smith interviewed Sharif in Istanbul before he himself made the trip to the Greek island of Lesbos.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Survivor stories from Super Typhoon Haiyan

    Survivor stories from Super Typhoon Haiyan

    The Philippines’ Typhoon Haiyan was the strongest storm ever to make landfall. Five years on, we revisit this story.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    We Are Still Here: A Story from Native Alaska

    We Are Still Here: A Story from Native Alaska

    From Qatar to Alaska, a personal journey exploring what it means to belong when your culture is endangered.