"Even if the children and I die...here we die a thousand times a day," he says.
By
Sarah Malik

3 Oct 2018 - 9:49 PM  UPDATED 4 Oct 2018 - 8:20 PM

"Come sweetheart," a father coos to his daughter.

The baby cries and looks away. 

The crumpled young dad breaks down in tears as his 11-month-old is taken away by her carer.

It's one of the heartbreaking moments that captivated viewers in the SBS series Go Back To Where You Came From Live. 

The young dad is Feras, a Syrian refugee whose harrowing survival journey is captured in the three-part documentary special, aimed at giving Australians a better understanding of the refugee crisis.

Feras fled war-torn Syria with his wife and two children in 2015 but with poor access to health care, Feras's wife died giving birth to their daughter Susan. Struggling with housing and unemployment, and without the resources to care for baby Susan, Feras has been forced to give his baby to another Syrian refugee family to raise.

"Every couple of months, every couple of days, we're somewhere different," Feras says. 

Former Big Brother host Gretel Killeen and Steve, a former prison guard, are visibly moved by Feras' anguish and heartbreak at seeing Susan struggle to recognise and acknowledge him during one of his visits to see her. 

"I'm a mum. I completely understand. He is completely devastated. He's a parent and disconnected from his own baby," said Killeen. 

Feras' fortunes are in polar opposite to his brother Salah and his family, who Killeen and Steve met in Sydney. Where Feras' application for asylum was rejected, his brother Salah was granted asylum and arrived in Australia in 2016 after spending time in cramped refugee house in Lebanon. 

Feras wants to make the perilous boat journey to Australia to join his brother and his family. 

Killeen and Steve questioned why he would dare to make such dangerous trip.

"Even if the children and I die...here we die a thousand times a day," he said. 

"Is the best option to leave Feras in Turkey? Probably not. Being reasonable you'd have to say that Australia probably is the best option," Steve conceded.  


'Go Back To Where You Came From Live' airs over three consecutive nights, October 2 – 4, 8.30pm, LIVE on SBS Australia and streaming live at SBS On Demand. 

Join the conversation #GoBackLive

Catch up on the first episode on SBS On Demand:

Go Back to Where You Came From Live
What would you take with you if you had to flee your country?
Australians share what they would take with them if they were forced to flee their home and seek asylum.
Meet Marina, the refugee lawyer going to a war zone with Jacqui Lambie
"There are some things she is taking a hardline on to play a game, but in going on this journey those walls are going to have to come down," she said of Lambie.
The Instagram account capturing life in a Rohingya refugee camp
A world-first Instagram documentary provides daily updates on what life is like inside a Rohingya refugee camp.
How you can help refugees and asylum seekers
Turn that feeling of despair into action.

The heartwarming moment a family was reunited after three years apart
Day after day, Ansas turned up at the Syrian-Turkish border with an armful of flowers, hoping to see if his wife and children had arrived.
Jacqui Lambie says she would "pick up a weapon" and fight ISIS in Syria
"I know this sounds terrible but it makes we wanna go and feel like picking up a weapon and help them... Fleeing is not the answer, that’s what I believe."
Meet the refugee family who took in Jacqui Lambie
“When I watched her interviews on YouTube, she was very strict with her opinions but I think after they met us, she was more lenient. I think she is not like before."