Barbakova Lubov Pimenovna (74) and Balahonov Aleksei Alekseevich (87) met at the gerontological center “Vishenki” in Smolensk. This is one of the biggest homes for elderly people in Russia. Aleksei Alekseevich moved there because he did not want to be a burden for his brother. He also wanted to have an opportunity to communicate with the people of his age. He met Lubov Pimenovna in the center right after she had moved there, and a few months later they created a family and moved in together into a separate room. The supervisors of the center encourage marriages in the center and allow the newlyweds moving into separate rooms.

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Mohammed and Reshan.
Mohammed came to Denmark 20 years ago. He left Iraq with his elder brother after the first American invasion when he was only 8 years old.  Mohammed’s family didn’t have money to buy fake passports, so along with other refugees his family sailed across the Black Sea to reach Bulgaria. A border guard patrol stopped the ship and they had to swim to Bulgarian coast. There were not enough life jackets. Mohammed’s older brother gave him his life vest. “My brother sank. I reached the Bulgarian coast alone. I didn’t have any money or food. I ate grass as there was nothing else, and finally got sick. Refugees from Eritrea and Palestine found a doctor. We travelled together to Germany. After Germany I went to Denmark where I was stopped by immigration service. They took custody of me, which is why I stayed in Denmark. After three years the rest of my family also moved here.”