ISTANBUL — In ancient Greek mythology, Charon was the ferryman who carried the dead from the land of the living into the underworld. In modern-day Istanbul, Nasir is a ferryman for Palestinian Syrians looking to escape violence in the Middle East and find refuge in Europe.
One of Nasir’s recent charges was his friend Ahmad, who in January 2014 left Syria with his wife, his twin daughters and a niece. For three months – while Ahmad called relatives abroad for financial support – Nasir hosted Ahmad and family at The Adar Center, an educational facility Nasir set up in Turkey. After Ahmad had gathered the funds he needed for travel, Nasir connected him to a smuggler who put Ahmad and his family on a ship to Athens.