Facebook Envy and Italian Law Lure Egyptian Teenagers to Europe

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The teenagers are preoccupied to a shocking images of genocide during sea — capsizing boats, bodies floating to seaside — that browbeat news coverage. Instead, they fixate on images of apparent success sent behind around amicable media by those who make it — even if those images mostly facade a grittier and some-more dangerous existence that includes exploitation, sparse crime and prostitution.

In Burg Migheizil, that has been ravaged by decades of overfishing in Egyptian waters, bootlegging has spin a anchor of a internal economy. At night, buses from Alexandria and Cairo strike by a dry streets, carrying migrants on their approach to a circuitously beach, where they are hustled onto watchful boats.

Unemployed fishermen light as smugglers, piloting boats opposite a Mediterranean. Farmers bay African and Syrian migrants before they mount aboard. The internal shipyard has enjoyed a tiny boom, as laborers conform steel-hulled vessels that lift people instead of fish. None are violation a law — underneath a gift of Egyptian law, bootlegging people is not illegal.

Often, though, a trade takes a dim turn. In early June, villagers said, dozens of African migrants were stranded there after an evidence between opposition tellurian traffickers caused them to skip their boat. Weeks before that, dual bodies cleared adult on a internal beach. Egyptian news reports identified a passed as a 20-year-old Egyptian and a Somali man.

In Europe, many smugglers finish adult in jail. In interviews, several weeping kin and spouses told of how their immature kin had been arrested by a European police. A internal fishermen’s organisation pronounced that over 4,000 group from Kafr el Sheikh, a governorate that includes Burg Migheizil, have been incarcerated or incarcerated in Europe on bootlegging charges.

A wooden vessel support in Burg Migheizil, where bootlegging has spin a anchor of a internal economy.

David Degner for The New York Times

The families of over teenagers are held between their enterprise for their children to find a improved life and bewail that they have left. At her home during a finish of an alleyway, Nasara Shawky retained a print of her dual sons, 16 and 17 years old, now in Rome. “I feel so lonely,” she said. “This whole encampment has been broken by a sea.”

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For nervous immature men, small can deter their dreams of flight. Ehab Nasser, 21, pronounced he hated his pursuit as a fisherman. Life during sea was vicious and lonely, he pronounced — prolonged trips into a dangerous waters of war-torn Libya in hunt of fish, mostly for as small as $100 a month. Two years ago he smuggled himself into Greece, after pawning his mother’s marriage dowry, during a cost of 2,500 euros (about $2,800).

That outing finished in a Greek apprehension core and contingent deportation behind to Egypt. But he will try again soon. His eyes illuminated adult as he showed a design on Facebook of his neighbor Ismail, now in London. In a picture, a immature male fanned a clod of British pounds, his ride raised, while accidentally boring on a cigarette.

“That’s what we want,” Mr. Nasser said.

But each success story is countered by a tear-stained episode. At a farmhouse surrounding by soaring date palms, Mohamed El Ghatani, a farmer, told of how he schooled that his 16-year-old nephew, Amir, drowned on his approach to Europe final month.

Only dual years earlier, Mr. Ghatani said, his possess son died in a same manner. “It’s terrible,” he said, his eyes pink during a memory. “They consider they’ll get to Europe and find an extraordinary life. That’s not true, of course, yet they don’t know that.”

Over 7,000 unparalleled minors from opposite countries arrived in Italy in a initial 5 months of this year, twice as many as final year, according to a United Nations Children’s Fund.

Mohamed El Ghatani, a farmer, had a son and a nephew drown while perplexing to strech Europe. “It’s terrible,” he said. “They consider they’ll get to Europe and find an extraordinary life. That’s not true, of course, yet they don’t know that.”

David Degner for The New York Times

The categorical problem, pronounced Naela Gabr, a comparison diplomat who heads Egypt’s central efforts to branch bootleg migration, is Italian law, that forbids a contingent deportation of unparalleled minors.

The Italian state provides unfamiliar minors with drill and proxy papers. Once they strech a age of 18, they can request for permanent residency — a absolute pull for families to send their teenage boys.

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A lot of a time, though, it doesn’t work so simply, pronounced Ms. Valastro, a assist workman in Rome. Desperate to start repaying their parents’ loans, many Egyptian migrants find to start work immediately, that hurts their chances of removing drill or central papers.

Last year, some reports described Egyptian youths offered drugs or enchanting in harlotry during Rome’s categorical sight station. But mostly, Ms. Valastro said, they finish adult operative for mild salary in restaurants or fruit markets.

“They don’t know a definition of a word ‘exploitation,’ ” she said. “They consider these people are assisting them since they are giving them money, even if it’s only 10 euros for 8 hours work.”

Now a Egyptian supervision is holding a quarrel to Facebook. Ms. Gabr pronounced she had prepared a public-relations debate to convince immature Egyptians not to leave their homeland.

But Ehab Nasser, a nervous immature fisherman, pronounced he was dynamic to leave regardless, and his family was resolutely behind him.

His mother, Azza Abdel Fattah, gestured during a room of flaking paint and exploding walls they were sitting in. “We wanted him to get to Europe and build a destiny and save us from this,” she said. “This is what we are praying for.”

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