By Yiannis Kourtoglou
After more than a year of separation Syrian refugee Ammar Hammasho was finally, albeit briefly, reunited with his wife and four children through a chain link fence topped with barbed wire in Cyprus.
Hammasho, who is from the war-ravaged Idlib region, fell to his knees and kissed each of his three eldest children through the three metre-high barrier encircling a migrant reception centre at Kokkinotrimithia, west of the Cypriot capital Nicosia.
His youngest toddler, Jumah – named after their second-born who was killed in an air raid in 2015 – was held up by his wife Shamuos. He kissed the protracted palm of Sham, his tiny daughter, who was dressed in a black frock neatly tucked in at the waist with a belt, small white jacket and pink sandals.
“The policeman told me to wait half an hour to finish the count. I couldn’t wait, I saw the kids through the fence and I did this,” he said, waving his hands over his head.