Bibihal Uzbeki, from Kunduz, Afghanistan, is among tens of thousands of migrants who have travelled thousands of kilometers fleeing war and poverty to search for a happier, safer future in Europe. The only difference is she is 105 years old.
Wrapped in a green scarf and a brown blanket, she was brought on a stretcher to Croatia’s main Opatovac refugee camp on Tuesday after crossing from Serbia with a large group of refugees, including her son, grandson and several other relatives.
The trek across mountains, deserts, seas and forests into Europe is dangerous and exhausting, even for people one-fifth her age.
Uzbeki said her 17-member family had travelled for 20 days to reach Europe, with her 67-year-old son and her 19-year-old grandson often carrying her on their backs.
One relative said: ”She has had problems many times, suffered a lot.”
As they carried her into a train that took them further west towards Slovenia, her grandson Muhamet said the family was hoping to reach Sweden.
Asked where she is going, Uzbeki said: “Sweden, I am going to Sweden.”
“I became homeless, a migrant, I’ve been on the road for a long time,” she added.
She said her son carried her on his back, and that she “fell and broke (injured) my head”.
Croatian police said they checked her documents and she is 105 years old, as her grandson said.
Her age could not be independently verified as her documents were being processed by the Croatian police.
More than 260,000 migrants have passed through Croatia since September 15, when Hungary closed its border with Serbia, diverting the flow of refugees to Croatia.
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