Ahmad is helped by a friend to push his piano along the street in a southern Damascus suburb of Yarmouk. AFP PHOTO / RAMI AL-SAYED
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It was then that Ahmad, whose music had brought consolation, even a bit of joy, to Yarmouk camp's beleaguered residents, decided to join thousands of others and seek refuge in Europe.Since Syria's civil war struck Yarmouk in 2013, the once-thriving neighborhood saw its population dwindle from 150,000 Palestinians and Syrians to barely 18,000 people.Ahmad became a symbol of hope, helping Yarmouk's people – particularly its children – forget for a moment the brutal war raging around them with every note he played.After ISIS militants attacked the camp in April, Ahmad's gentle, tentative ray of light was engulfed in flames. He was in a pickup truck, trying to move his piano to nearby Yalda, where his wife and two boys were living, when he was stopped at a militant checkpoint.With other Syrian men, women and children, Ahmad trekked through mountainous terrain to reach the Turkish coast.When the first rays of sunlight struck the sea at dawn Thursday, Ahmad found himself on a Greek beach.
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