Corona is teaching spiritual and moral lessons that have long been forgotten. It is teaching equality, that all humans are equal regardless of their life style, culture, religion, wealth, skin color, and geographical location.
Corona is teaching …
… that … a border can simply be the door of your room, when you are not allowed to go out, even if you need to. Crossing that door frontier is banned.
… that … borders can now be crossed without passports. Those documents, which, for years, separated us, excluded us, have little value now. A virus can cross the borders without any identification papers.
… how … foolish humans have been taking for granted the most important necessities of life: food, water, medicine, while millions around them were deprived of them, living in fear of deprivation, every day of their lives. Today – everyone faces those threats!
… that … no matter how hard humans are working, the important thing is what one does and how one does something can benefit others.
… shame to those full of greed, selfishness and arrogance. It is teaching that the only way to survive is to help, to share, to give and look after others and protect them from the virus.
… how … the meaning of life changes when you do not have any solution for your problems and you are just waiting to see what others are deciding for your life.
… that … all humans are vulnerable.
… patience instead of panic. Many lived in this panic for years and had to chose patience instead – knowing that panic would cause more harm than good.
… that … everyone might become like all those who – for years – had their lives at the mercy of others – without knowing what their fate would be.
… that … life can lose its meaning when you are forced to live without any purpose or expectation. Or in a prison – just staying alive – the prison becoming your home.
What we were afraid of has happened. After giving birth in a Hospital in Athens, a women – that escaped from somewhere in Africa – and her newborn where soon released from the hospital and brought to Ritsona Camp. She was then tested positive for the Coronavirus. After being in touch with 63 persons in the camp 20 positive results have been confirmed in the camp.
The quarantine started from today 02/04/2020. People are in panic and they are trying to keep their distance with people from African countries – that will not decrease the risk. With this treatment from other communities, residents that escaped from countries in Africa raised their campaign in the camp more than ever with slogans like “Africans have NO Coronavirus”.
However, the International Organization for Migration (IOM), one of the official actors of the camp, announced that they will begin to distribute food baskets and hygiene kits to camp residents and that people would continue to have access to medicine. But it is not clear when. The residents prepare their food in the homes, they started buying what they need from internal shops of the camp. But most of people are not able to buy their necessities as the bank cash that were going to receive on the beginning of this month, has been delayed on 20th of the month
Close contact of people with each other, having no mask, less access to medicines they need as vulnerable people, is increasing the risk more than elsewhere.
14 days quarantine for residents from government and emphasized by active NGOs of the camp, sending frequent messages to residents. But still different reasons push the residents to go out and provide their necessities, meanwhile police started their activities to control the movement of people in the camp. Continue reading Letters to the world from Ritsona (No.2)→
For years, Ritsona Refugee Camp was ment for almost nine hundred refugees. Today, the camp provides accommodation facilities for more than three thousands refugees from the islands, most of them are vulnerable.
I am one of these new arrivals, who could find peace, dignity, primary education, health care, entertainment and all that a human needs for a normal life, under one camp – Ritsona Refugee Camp.
Our all-day-life-world changed here for us, people could get back their normal moral state. Communication became much stronger than what it was before. But we are all under a huge pressure of a common problem – COVID-19 – that has a single solution: stay at home to keep your safety!
That is almost impossible when you are a part of more than four thousand people, and live in a container with more than eight persons .
While all through the world, the rule is to stay at home temporarily, here it is just to stay in the camp. But in Ritsona Camp this is not logical. People are in a close contact with each other every single moment, without having any information about what it is going on throughout the world or ways of protecting themselves and their children. Continue reading Letters to the world from Ritsona (No.1)→
This story is written by Parwana Amiri, a young Afghan woman who has lived with her family in the Olive Grove from the Moria hotspot since September 2019.
When Parwana noticed how unbearable the living conditions were, she supported the people with her language skills and started to publicize the stories they had experienced.
Her “LETTERS TO THE WORLD FROM MORIA” have been published in a blog since September: Infomobile and and on this Blog.
This little book is based on the real story of one of the many people forced into the Olive Grove
Use olive trees to heat or bake. It is an imaginary conversation between an old woman and an olive tree.
It was drawn by Marily Stroux and printed by w2eu / alarmfone.
You can buy this little book for a donation of € 4.00. Write an email: email@example.com or get it Hamburg at Kölibri.
Where: at Kölibri, Hein-Köllisch-Platz 11 + 12 · 20359 Hamburg or via firstname.lastname@example.org
When: always on OpenFriday from 14-17: 30h
All proceeds go directly to Parwana for the projects in which she participates. The self-organized school WAVES OF HOPE FOR THE FUTURE, founded by ZEKRIA Farzad with 1,200 students of all ages in the Olive Grove, is one of them.
Every mother raises up her baby being proud of it from the first day. When she kisses her baby, her baby kisses her back, and this is the absolute happiness for her. When the child grows, she is watching how it plays with others. She watches it grow and develop. These are the joys of a mother.
I have raised my two children under the hardest conditions of life. I spent everyday praying for them. But while the body of my four year old girl grew, her brain did not follow along. And the same happened to my boy.
I love my children. But society humiliated us for them being different. I will never forget that everybody expected my husband to get married again, because I gave birth to mentally disabled babies.
I didn’t even know that I was getting married. I was so small, getting married was for me was like playing with my dolls, and it was the same for all other girls of my very young age.
When I started to learn about life as a couple, I realised that I was pregnant and when I hugged my Mariam* (names changed) for the first time, I became also aware of people’s talk – mostly the nearest persons around me. They called my baby “handicapped”, “abnormal”, and those words aggrieved me.
Being a transgender means not to be of female or male sex, neither man nor woman – but of transgender sex. In a society like Afghanistan, being a transgender person is like being an extra-terrestrial, landing on earth from outer space. In Afghanistan people think of sex binary: only female and male are considered as “normal” genders.
In Afghanistan I used false names. I am Mina. This name gives an understanding that I am a girl. Yet, every day, during my whole being, my soul screams: “I am not a girl! Don’t cover your self with these clothes.”
I was born, in 1992, in Mazaresharef, the western province of Afghanistan. Being a girl in such a society carries guilt. Being a transgender born as a girl carries double guilt. So when I realised that I was not really a girl, my life became a nightmare. I felt myself separate from everyone, not belonging to any of the dominant sexes. Although I had a female body, I wanted to be with boys, behave like a boy. Playing with them, learning with them, speaking with them was pleasant for me.
I have existed for billions of years. Every century I raised new generations, but I have never been at the same time as proud of myself as I am today and as sad and disappointed as I am today.
Today, I stand tip-top on some incredible advances and discoveries achieved in this world. Yet, it looks like my residents are returning back to old false thoughts, thoughts thousands years old. Thoughts of egoism, thoughts of greed, thoughts that make you fight between each other, that made you built borders in order not to share between your kind or other creatures.
I am mother of you all. I am equally belonging to all people. You can all live on me. So what are these borders for that you created? Why don’t you open your doors to each other? Why don’t you get rid of racism and come together sitting on one table?
In a camp with 14,000 refugees coming from different places of earth living under inhuman conditions one piled upon the other, the authorities can do very little to protect us. In fact, the miserable conditions they force us to live in, the inhuman laws and rules they subject us to create a small world of violence – a form of systematic violence against all of us.
If you live this violence day by day, you become part of it. In the end we humans, who are currently refugees in your Europe, must defend ourselves, our tents and our families against a generalised violence from above, but also from all sides. This violence can come come from any side now.
Where is safety?
If you live under conditions not worth for animals, violent conditions, then you can become violent any time yourself even if you share the same pain.
I feel powerless against this violence. I feel it crawling in our veins. I don’t want to become a part of this. I feel shame, when I see anger growing between people who suffer the same pain and shame when I feel anger rising inside me.
I didn’t know that in Europe people get divided in the ones with passports and the ones without. I didn’t know that I would be treated as ‘a refugee’, a person without papers, without rights. I thought we escaped from emergencies, but here our arrival is considered an emergency for the locals. I thought our situation in the camp is an emergency, but in Europe the meaning of emergency for people like ‘us’ is to be dead.
Under the conditions we live exposed to heat in summer and rainfalls in winter, in the middle of garbage, dirt and sewage water, unsafe in permanent stress and fear facing the violence of the European Asylum System in this small world of 15,000 people – we are all emergency cases.
In fact in Moria, most arrived already with injuries in their souls and sometimes on their bodies. But here everyone gets ill, also the healthy, and our situation let our sicknesses turn to emergencies very fast.
Consider the story behind life in Moria hotspot: Having spent days, weeks or months walking up and down hills, over rocks and in between trees while living in a forest. Standing in queues for hours. Lost between what we think of as protection and what they create to hinder us reaching it.
Life has normally ups and downs, but my life has always been flat. I have been trapped in a deep valley.
I am getting close to my lives’ end. At an age when every old woman needs to rest, I push my heart to work and earn money for my husband who suffers from heart problems and for our son.
Yet, instead of taking care of my husbands sickness, we must first prove his illness, they say. Our words don’t count, but only papers. Do we need to take out his heart to show he is ill?
After many medical tests we undertook with many difficulties, they told us that his illness should be certified by the doctors of the big hospital. The name of his sickness has to be written in words on a paper. They didn’t tell us, who will cove his transportation costs to go to town? Of course no one will!
When my husbands’ heart suffered, I desired my death as I could not help without a Cent in my pocket…