Please read Stepping Stones to Safety: A Family Flees Syria's War - And Finds Refuge in Italy's Islands, by Eric Marrapodi, at CNN's Religious Blogs.
"Abdel clung to his pregnant wife, 4-year-old son and 2-year-old daughter as they sailed across an open stretch of the Mediterranean Sea. They were in a dilapidated fishing boat with limited provisions and almost no sanitation, sharing a cramped space with some 400 other Syrians.
"Abdel prayed quietly and recited verses from the Quran for two days and two nights as the boat swayed and motored precariously along the 180-mile route from Libya to the tiny Italian island of Lampedusa.
"If they could make it, his young family would be one step closer to freedom.
"He knew thousands had died making the same voyage.
"Abdel prayed for safety. He hoped land would come soon. He worried his wife, 8½ months pregnant, might give birth before they reached land.
"Abdel and his family risked their lives to flee Syria for Italy.
“'Our faith in God grew stronger and stronger,” he said. “When you feel that death is very near, then you get closer to God and your faith increases.'”