The Parabakian family was resettled in the Italian city of Cosenza as part of the grassroots project Mediterranean Hope, Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017. (The Daily Star/Ahmad Azakir)
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With fatalities among migrants crossing the Mediterranean Sea still rising, 10 refugee families in Beirut headed to Italy safely and by plane thanks to a civil society group that has resettled 700 refugees from Lebanon over the last year.Khaled and her two sons will not have to experience the same, thanks to a group of volunteers who, following a 2013 shipwreck that killed 368 people a few miles off the Italian shores, decided to take action and find legal ways of bringing refugees to Italy. The collaboration between the Federation of Protestant Churches in Italy and the Christian Community of Sant'Egidio led to the establishment of the project Mediterranean Hope.Overall, Mediterranean Hope has been granted 1,000 visas by the Italian government to bring people from Lebanon and allow them to file an asylum request from within the country.Sako Parlakian, an Armenian Syrian who fled the heavy fighting in Aleppo almost two years ago, is waiting with his three daughters, wife and brother to travel to the city of Cosenza, in the south of Italy.
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