They had known the worst was over at ten o'clock on Friday while they were still in the refugee camp. Only a few hours later, they were on a plane with Pope Francis, who personally welcomed them to Italian soil.
"Thank you. I appreciate all the things you have done."
"Thank you, Pope..."
After experiencing five years of war, destruction and bombing, the Community of Sant'Egidio in Rome welcomed them with flowers.
Nour, 31, is a biochemical engineer and specialized in microbiology in France. Her husband, Hasan, is an agricultural engineer. The bombs completely destroyed their home. They went on a hidden trip to Lesbos with their son, Riad, costing them 5,000 euros. The traffickers took them in a truck for animals for 15 hours.
"I want my son to have a future, a good future, and have a life like I did before the war.”
"I would like to find a job, I would like to work in my same area of expertise in Syria. I would continue my thesis perhaps. First, I would like to tell Europe that we are not terrorists; we are not jihadists. "
For Masha, age 8, hiding today is just a game. Now she can live in peace with her brother, Omar, 6, and their parents, Wafa and Zamalka. He repairs printers and she is a hairdresser.
"When we arrived, my two children had a high fever. Despite that, they have gone to school and we have signed up for classes as well. We feel safe and happy."
"We want peace, to live in peace. When the war is over, we would like to return to our land. We want to return to our land."
Professor Ramy and seamstress Suhila decided to escape when their children were of military age. They do not want them killed, but above all, they do not want to become murderers.
"We were very afraid they would send us back to Turkey. Thank you very much to the Pope, he is a miracle that saved us. "
"We finally feel some peace, after so many years of war. Finally a quiet morning, full of peace. We are very happy.”
"We hope the war ends, there is peace and we can go back to Syria."
Their first day in Italy, they began to study Italian. Rachid wants to be a surgeon, and Abdel Majid dreams of becoming a dentist. All of them want to return to Syria one day, because they each left one thing behind.
"What did you leave in Syria?"
"Only our roots."
MG. Some footage provided by Communità di Sant'Egidio