Nawras, a 15 year old Syrian boy from Damascus walks along the corridor of a train headed from Sicily to Napoli. He, along with many other Syrian and Palestinians are headed north towards Milano with the hopes of finally reaching Sweden and other northern European countries.
Transiting Syrian refugees sleep and sit in their cabins on the train bound north from Sicily.
Narwas sits outside Naples' train station while other Syrians rest and discuss where it's safe to stay during a long layover before catching a night train to Milan.
Nawras and the other men walk the street in search of some place to safely rest in Napoli.
Waiting for the call to prayer, Nawras prays as others rest and read from The Quran at a Mosque in Napoli.
Hamza, 5 years old, sleeps on the night train headed north from Napoli to Milano. He is a Palestinian who was living in Yarmouk refugee camp in Damascus, Syria but fled after getting caught in one of the many bombings by Assad's forces. The right side of his face and upper body are forever etched with third degree burns from the explosion.
A group of Syrian refugees speak in the privacy of their train cabin as they travel on a nighttime train to Milano. Conversations revolve around the the safest routes north out of Milano and family left behind in Syria and Turkey.
Arriving in Milano early in the morning, Nawras and the group walk from the train to the city's central train station a few kilometers away.
Syrian refugees talk and smoke cigarettes as traveling Italians walk into Milano's central train station.
Syrian refugees wait to speak with city volunteers and NGO workers in Milano's central train station. The station has become the main hub for Syrians transiting north and the municpality of Milano and NGOs have organized to both distribute food and register refugees for temporary transit camps where they can stay before continuing north.
Syrian refugees point to different countries on a map posted in Milano's central train station. Countries such as Sweden, Germany, and Denmark are primary destinations for Syrian refugees headed north as they see better chances there of being granted asylum quickly with relatively better financial support and social services as they try and start their new lives.
A Syrian man explains to another how to read which track his train will depart from in Milano's central train station. Refugees strike out from the city via train, private car, and plane. Each mode requires different amounts of money and incurs varying degrees of risk from police checkpoints.
Syrian refugees sit in a fast food restaurant in Milano's central train station and charge mobile phones. The city of Milano was seeing more than 1,000 refugees arrive each day over the summer, with a peak of 1,600 in a single day in September.
A police officer speaks on his mobile as two Syrian men talk in Milano's central train station. While refugees who arrive to Europe via Italy should, by law, register for asylum in Italy, Italian authorities have begun to look the other way as Syrians, Palestinians and refugees from other countries who readily receive asylum in other European countries travel north out of Italy.
Transiting Syrian refugees walk the stairwell of a temporary camp in Milano. Since October 15th, 2013 the Milano Municipality has officially registered 45,876 transiting refugees from Syria, Palestine, and Eritrea.
Two Syrian men look for new clothes in a retail story in Milano. Besides getting warmer clothing, many men stress the importance of being well dressed in order to avoid undue attention.
Haleem, a Syrian man from Homs, gets his hair washed while getting cleaned up from his journey at a barbershop in Milano.
Nawras rides a tram through Milano in search of a money transfer service. Arriving with just enough to buy the train ticket to Milano his family wires him another 970 Euros to help pay for a "faciliator" who will get him to Sweden.
Kutayba, a young man from Homs who is headed to Denmark, sits on a bench in Milano and plays with his phone as young Italian men walk past. Kutayba now walks with braces after shrapnel from a government airtstrike mangled his left leg.
Passing through the final checkpoint at the airport in Milano, Nawras heads down the walkway to his plane bound for Stockholm. Only one man is detained a the gate.
Visibly releived, Nawras and other Syrians talk and laugh aboard the plane once it is airborne to Sweden.
Nawras rides from the airport in Stockholm. His dream is to become a doctor and one day return to Syria to help his country rebuild. "I promised my father before he died I would become one," he says of being a doctor, "I just want to study and be with my family now."
Nawras sits in the train from Stockholm to Malmö, Sweden a few hours after his plane lands in Sweden. He travels immediately to Malmö in order to register for asylum as soon as possible.
Exhausted and sick from journey, Nawras sleeps on the train from Stockholm to Malmö. It is the final leg of a three-week journey that has cost more than $4,000.
Nawras eats dinner with Mohammed, a family friend, at Mohammed's flat in Malmö. "The Swede's have given us so much," says Mohammad who fled Damascus three years ago and has lived in Sweden since, "they have helped us with a new life and I am so thankful, but life isn't easy and there are still problems. No matter how long I Iive here or how much Swedish I speak I fear I will never be seen as a real citizen by others."
Nawras walks with Mohammed through Malmö's Rosengard aparment complex - a housing project whose population is over 80% foreign-born. While his journey is finally over, the work of beginning a new life is just beginning. After being transfered to a temporary camp for minors, he hopes to move into an apartment with his sisters. Once settled he will begin learning Swedish and start school. He hopes to be able to bring his mother and younger siblings over within the year.