"The Dream Boat" - Luke Mogelson and Joel Van Houdt - New York Times Magazine

"The Dream Boat" - Luke Mogelson and Joel Van Houdt - New York Times Magazine

More than a thousand refugees have died trying to reach Christmas Island. But faced with unbearable conditions at home, they keep coming.

by: Luke Mogelson, Joel Van Houdt | publication date: November 17, 2013 | Publication: New York Times Magazine | journal issue: 17 November 2013 | pages: MM34 Sunday Magazine

 "In September, in one of these trucks, I sat across from a recently married couple in their 20s, from Tehran. The wife, who was seven months pregnant, wore a red blouse stretched over her stomach; the husband a tank top, thick-rimmed glasses and a faux hawk that revealed a jagged scar (courtesy, he said, of the Iranian police.) Two months had passed since they flew to Jakarta; this was their fourth attempt to leave. Twice, en route to the boat that would bring them to Australia, they were intercepted, detained and paid bribes for their release. Another time, the boat foundered shortly after starting out. All the same, they were confident this trip would be different. Like everyone else's in the truck, theirs was a desperate kind of faith. "Tonight wwe will succeed," the husband assured me. They were determined that their child be born 'there.'"

In September 2013, Luke Mogelson and photographer Joel Van Houdt followed the journey of asylum seekers from the Middle East and Central Asia to Christmas Island.

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