‘The Swimmers’: the sisters who made an epic escape from Syria and had opposite fates

  • Dalia Ventura
  • From BBC News World

Yusra Mardini, training in 2016

Credit, Getty Images

photo caption,

Yusra Mardini at her swimming training in 2016

Water marked the lives of sisters Yusra and Sarah Mardini.

Taken by their father, it was in the water that they learned to seek excellence. Their skill led them to be part of the national youth swimming team in their country, Syria.

In the water, they felt the horrors of war, when a bomb fell in the pool where they trained and drove them out of the country.

In the water, they experienced anguish when crossing the Aegean Sea and the boat provided by human smugglers began to sink, putting their lives and those of 19 other people at risk.

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