Muslim-Buddhist couple's path fraught with danger
BANGKOK • He was a Rohingya Muslim whose family ran a fleet of boats in Myanmar's Rakhine state. She was a Buddhist shopkeeper living in a village next to his.
In a region riven by ethnic and religious tensions, their union was not just rare but downright dangerous. Faced with persistent intimidation, they fled their homeland in 2010 on an arduous journey that eventually brought them to Thailand early this year.
Mr Abdul Islam was 19 years old when he met Ms Asimah, 28, in 2008. She had to travel twice a week to the nearby Buthidaung town to restock the groceries in her shop. The quiet, square-jawed young man waived the 1,000 kyat (S$1) boat fare each time because "we are neighbours".
Close brush with death in Syrian's flight to Germany
Mr Fadi Haddad crawled under barbed wire in Syria's north-western village of Kessab and crossed a forest to reach Turkey, the start of a journey to the edge of despair in the hands of unscrupulous migrant smugglers.
Twice, he had a brush with death - once on a sinking boat and another time when a screwdriver-wielding refugee charged at him in a German transit camp.
"Even now, I think my life is in danger," says Mr Haddad, 39, from his flat, his mournful eyes staring from a gaunt, thinly bearded face as he reflects on his seven attempts by sea, land and air to reach Germany.