Syrian refugee turns his escape into a video game

A Syrian refugee, Abdullah Adnan Karam plays computer game "Path Out" in Salzburg, Austria March 19, 2019. Karam provided the story, based on his own experience, the idea of the game is to make the jurney it to Austria, where he now lives. (Reuters)
Updated 20 March 2019
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Syrian refugee turns his escape into a video game

  • Karam left Hama in 2014, crossed the border into Turkey then started the long and arduous trek through Europe
  • Karam bumped into games developer Georg Hobmeier in Salzburg and the pair started working on “Path Out”

SALZBURG, Austria: Abdullah Adnan Karam stares down at the computer screen and watches the story of his escape from war-torn Syria to his new home in Austria play out step by step as a game.
The 23-year-old left the northwestern city of Hama in 2014, crossed the border into Turkey then started the long and arduous trek through Europe.
A year later, after his arrival in Austria, he bumped into games developer Georg Hobmeier in Salzburg and the pair started working on what would become the PC/Mac game “Path Out.”
“What the player is kind of playing is part of my story, let’s say. My (personal) story had more action in it,” Karam told Reuters Television.
Karam provided the story and Hobmeier’s company Causa Creations, alongside Vienna-based firm Wobblersound and Austrian-American graphic designer Brian Main, worked on the technical side.
Players can choose different routes and meet different fates. “Remember guys, don’t get me killed,” Karam says in a promotional video.
The story starts before the war, letting players move Karam through his home, meeting friends and relatives, before the scene degenerates into a battlefield.


US targets two individuals, three entities in Hezbollah-related sanctions program

Updated 35 min 15 sec ago
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US targets two individuals, three entities in Hezbollah-related sanctions program

  • Targeted for sanctions under US regulations aimed at suspected terrorists or those who support them
  • Comes at a time of growing US concern about role of Hezbollah in Lebanese government

WASHINGTON: The U.S. Treasury, moving to boost pressure on Hezbollah, imposed sanctions on Wednesday against two people and three firms that Washington accuses of being involved in schemes to help the armed Shi'ite group backed by Iran evade American sanctions.

The Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) said it was targeting Belgium-based Wael Bazzi because he acted on behalf of his father Mohammad Bazzi, a Hezbollah financier.

OFAC also took action against two Belgian companies and a British-based firm controlled by Bazzi.

In addition, the US Treasury designated Lebanon-based Hassan Tabaja, who it said had acted on behalf of his brother Adham Tabajha, also a Hezbollah financier. The U.S. action freezes their assets and property and prevents U.S. citizens and businesses from dealing with them.

The two men and three businesses were targeted for sanctions under US regulations aimed at suspected terrorists or those who support them, the Treasury said in a statement. Hezbollah is considered a foreign terrorist organization by the United States.

"Treasury is relentlessly pursuing Hezbollah's financial facilitators by dismantling two of Hezbollah's most important financial networks," Treasury Undersecretary Sigal Mandelker said in a statement.

"By targeting Hassan Tabaja and Wael Bazzi and their European-based companies, this administration is continuing to disrupt all avenues of financial support relied upon by Hezbollah," he said.

The US State Department earlier this week offered a reward of up to $10 million for information that could help disrupt Hezbollah's financing.

The move to boost pressure on the group comes at a time of growing US concern about its role in the Lebanese government. Hezbollah's regional clout has expanded as it has sent fighters to Middle East conflicts, including the war in Syria, where it supported President Bashar al-Assad.