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AFP
February 11, 2019

German migrant rescue ship renamed after tragic toddler

World

AFP
February 11, 2019

PALMA, Spain: A German migrant rescue ship which operates in the Mediterranean was renamed on Sunday after Alan Kurdi, a three-year-old Syrian refugee boy whose body washed up on a Turkish beach at the height of the migrant crisis, sparking global outrage

Alan’s father, Abdullah Kurdi, and aunt, Tima Kurdi, attended the renaming ceremony held in Palma on Spain’s Balearic Island of Mallorca. The event was organised by German charity Sea-Eye which operates the boat formerly known as the Professor Albrecht Penck.

“We are happy that a German rescue ship will carry the name of our boy. My boy on the beach must never be forgotten. Our grief for the loss of my wife and sons is shared by many, by thousands of families who have so tragically lost sons and daughters this way,” Abdullah Kurdi said in a statement released by Sea-Eye.

Kurdi paid smugglers to take him and his family from Turkey to Greece after the Turkish government would not grant them the exit visas they needed to enter Canada where Tima lives as refugees.

Their September 2015 journey across the Mediterranean ended in tragedy after the flimsy inflatable boat sank in rough seas. Eleven refugees died, including Kurdi’s wife Rehanna and their two young boys, Ghalib and Alan -- or Aylan as his name was widely transcribed in the anglophone press at the time.

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