The owners of the two rings, which were found in a backpack in the Mediterranean, survived the capsizing of their vessel as they crossed from Libya to Europe. The red backpack had been floating for two weeks in the central Mediterranean between Libya and Italy when a rescue boat came across it. Inside, along with clothes and some notes in Arabic, was a simple treasure: two wedding rings engraved with hearts and the names Ahmed and Doudou. For rescuers with Open Arms, a nongovernmental organization that picks up migrants making the perilous journey by boat to Europe, the discovery on Nov. 9 was “like a punch.” It might have remained yet another presumed loss in the notoriously perilous Mediterranean crossing that migrants from North Africa have made to reach Europe. “Who are Ahmed and Doudou?” the Italian newspaper La Repubblica asked. But in an unusual stroke of luck, the rings will be reunited with their owners, an Algerian couple who survived a capsizing in late October in a boat from Libya and were found two weeks ago by Doctors Without Borders representatives who have been providing support to the migrants in a reception center in Sicily. When they saw pictures of the newly found rings, they “couldn’t believe it,” the couple, who declined to provide their last names for privacy reasons, said in a statement provided by the organization.
SOURCE: THE NEW YORK TIMES