By Sharron Ward
It’s his eyes that I can’t forget.
It was Thursday August 27 2015, just after dawn on a beach on the northern coast of the island of Lesvos.
An inflatable rubber dinghy heavily weighed down and overloaded with Syrians was making its way precariously across the rough sea.
As soon as it neared the rocky shore, dozens of orange lifejackets rose up and disgorged themselves hurling unceremoniously out of the boat, some falling into the sea as they did.
Anonymous arms reached out from the shore to take the bedraggled babies and small children, who appeared disoriented and traumatised, staring into space. A cry rose up.
And then I saw her.
An older Syrian woman wearing a white hijab stumbled to the shore.
No longer able to contain her grief she fell to the ground, her hands clasping her face as a wave of anguish, tears and relief swept over her.
A Dutch volunteer comforted her.
And then he came to her side.
A middle-aged Syrian man still wearing his orange life jacket. He held her as she sobbed.
He was her son.
They were soon joined by her daughter who was wearing a blue velour track suit. Seeing her mother’s distress, she too cried.