Our life has been put in hands that are playing with us, as if we were dolls.
Today, we are controlled by politicians’ hands, as if we were puppets .
When our country was, and still is, under war, we had to leave it — not for a better life but in order to just give the breathing right to our children .
When we start out from our countries, whose soil has the color of blood, a deep stamp seals our forehead. It reads: refugee. Struggling to wipe away that stamp, we may lose our dignity, our serenity, our honor and even the life of our families. When we put down our backpacks on any other land, there is no immediate shelter for us.
Refugee — what a hard word this is.
Today, we cease to be subjects. We become objects “for sale”! We are waste, and we are treated as garbage.
We lost our countries because of the direct interventions of those same countries that,now, are kicking us back.
Stop those interventions and you will no longer have to tolerate us and our children.
We tolerated bombs and guns. But we couldn’t tolerate witnessing the fire that was burning our children’s dreams. So we put all our life in a backpack and carried it in our backs.
When we leave our homes longing for shelter in another country, we wish to accept that new land as our own, look after it as our birthplace and respect its residents. Unfortunately, when we step onto any country, its people look at us and our children as wretched strangers, not looking for safety, but threatening their income, their jobs, their culture. Continue reading Letters to the world from Ritsona (No.5)→
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.
“Put yourself in our shoes! We are not safe in Moria. We didn’t escape from our homelands to stay hidden and trapped. We didn’t pass the borders and played with our lifes to live in fear and danger.
Put yourself in our shoes! Can you live in a place , that you can not walk alone even when you just want to go the toilette. Can you live in a place, where there are hundreds of unaccompanied minors that no one can stop attempting suicides. That no one stops them from drinking.
No one can go out after 9:00 pm because the thieves will steal anything you have and if you don’t give them what they want, they will hurt you. We should go to the police? We went alot and they just tell that we should find the thief by ourselves. They say: ‘We can not do anything for you.’ In a camp of 14.000 refugees you won’t see anyone to protect us anywhere even at midnight. Two days ago there was a big fight, but util it finished no one came for help. Many tents burned. When the people went to complain, no one cared and and even the police told us: ‘This is your own problem.’
In this situation the first thing that comes to my mind to tell you is, we didn’t come here to Europe for money, and not for becoming a European citizen. It was just to breathe a day in peace.
Just before I went on my trip to Mytilene I saw in Germany the news about refugees in Greece. On TV it was reported on how aggressive and angry the refugees were in Greece (Mytilene). After I saw these news in Germany about the refugees I started to think and worry a bit. Would it all go alright? Would it be right to travel to Mytilene and help the people who require support? Would I endanger myself or not? These questions formed in my mind. I travelled nonetheless as I had already booked my ticket and had promised the group that I would come and participate.
When our ship dropped the anchor in the harbour of Mytilene, I saw from above used rubber vessels and many people (men, women, and children) who did not look well and who had to wait in the heat for their registration. When we went to our camping site (Charamida), somewhere far away from the harbour and the city, we saw families and men, who were lying on the street as they could not walk anymore and were tired. We stopped and gave them water and information. We then quickly went to our camp and unloaded our car. When the cars were empty we drove back to bring the refugees to the harbour to register.
It was a great journey back to the border 2015. And I got a lot of experience and we did so much together.
It was my dream to help those people that they don’t have any support and are leaving their country because of some problem. All of my us supported each other so we could do the best job possible.
We’re strong together and able to climb every high wall or fence.
I heard about solidarity as a word before but fortunately you showed and translated it. In this journey I saw the real solidarity with refugees: everywhere and anytime.
Now I understood what means solidarity .
I am proud of myself that I was able to support the new arrived refugees and be a part of this journey back.
It’s impossible to explain it by words or writing because you all did the best of you
I don’t know what will happen in the future and next year.
I would like to join in this sweet group in the next journey back to the border 2016 but I’m not sure if I can?
Now I left you and sure miss you all so much and your place is here ❤️❤️ forever . Thank you all so much. Special thanks to the Drivers,translators and cooks, that they were really so much busy.
Bye bye . I hope see you all again
Hello I am Jawad and I live in Hamburg now for the last three and a half years. I am from Afghanistan and I want to tell the story of how I came to Hamburg. It is a long story. That I had to leave my country was not my decision and it was also not my decision that I was born in this country.
When I was four years old I had to leave my village and country because of the war in Afghanistan. We fled to Iran. The situation in Iran for refugees was not good. We got a paper to stay only for a short while. We were not allowed to go to school or to work and we could not buy anything in our name. They put a lot of pressure on us so that we would leave quickly again. When they saw us on the street we were always controlled and it also happened that men, when they got back from work, were arrested and deported. In Maschat at the border there was a concentration camp for Afghan refugees. There was no food but a lot of torture. I was not in the camp but my friends told me about it. They had to stand the whole day in the sun or in the winter in the cold. They had to do forced work and when the guards found out that one had been to Iran before, they tortured them. Nearly all of those who left the camp became mentally ill and were deported to Afghanistan. Still today there are people who get shot by soldiers at the border. Many are afraid of that and do not try to escape to Iran. Continue reading Jawad’s Journey→
It is my first time in Mytilene. My friend Selinia told me to come to be part of the gathering. They have relations to CCR and nothing to do with the government. I was very happy when she asked me to come here as I will make new friends and because I will get to see the island that I have heard is very nice. It was the opportunity to leave Athens, a city that is packed with racism and problems with the police.
When the ferry was on its way to Mytilene I swam with my thoughts. I thought how nice the island will be. But suddenly, when we arrived in Mytilene, the police disturbed us at the exit of the ferry. And all the thoughts that I had disappeared. They controlled us. We are not criminals, the only problem is that we are refugees. There is a law here in Mytilene that refugees are being kept until they can prove that they are free to go. Here the rule that one is innocent until proven guilty never exists. In this country it is normal to treat refugees badly because there are no controls of those who do bad things to refugees. These forms of racist behavior against us are similar to those that we have experienced in our country, they only wear different clothes now!
We came together today. Here in the harbour of Thermi we gathered for remembering the dead of the European border regime.
In the last years about 20.000 people have been killed by these murderous borders – here in the Aegean, at the street of Gibraltar and many have been lost in the Mediterranean between Lybia and Italy. The numbers of deaths at the European borders have increased tremendously.
Since the Lampedusa tragedy with more than 300 dead a few days ago and yesterday another tragedy happend in front of the Italian island. All over Europe there is an outcry: this senseless death at the border has to be stopped! There should be safe ways for refugees to reach Europe!
I am an Afghan girl who lives in Hamburg, Germany for 2 years. I am 18 years old, I go to school, and am in the 11th grade. Right now I am in Mytilini, the capital city of Lesvos to particpate in the conference of the initiatives Youth Without Borders and Infomobile to help the refugees who arrive in Europe. When I was in Germany and I knew I would come to Mytilini I was very excited and happy. I thought to myself: “everything is good, and everything will work out well for the refugees.” But unfortunately it was not as I thought to myself!
All of the refugees where very sick and they were homeless. Everyone was tired and they had no drive. Some people slept on the street, some in the harbour. Nobody is able to sleep. Everbody is stressed out. Some lost their families during the journey or even through death. While some were physically present, their minds and souls were somewhere else. If I have to summarise my thoughts I would say that everyone was alive but their souls were already dead.
For hours, days and nights, they were on the streets or at the harbour so that the police could come to arrest them. The people were disoriented and just waiting for the police to arrest them. But the police did not want to arrest them. Nobody wanted to offer them food or something to drink. Nobody tried to understand them. Me and the others felt helpless because we could not do more than provide food, drinks and clothes, organise demonstrations or get in touch with the media. Nonetheless, thank god that we are at least able to do that and show our solidarity with them. They are not alone, there are people who think about them. We invited all of the young people who live at the Villa Azadi to a party and we brought them into our group to show that they are not alone. Also there were young people who were just released from the Moria centre who we invited as well. We prepared food for them and gave them clothes that they could wear. They opened up to us and told us stories about their fate and the sorrow in their hearts. All of them were very intelligent and multifaceted and two of them performed for us and sang beautiful songs. Below we post the link to the song they sang.
Ich bin Arash, ich komme aus Afghanistan und momentan lebe ich in Kiel in Deutschland. In 2006 bin ich nach Europa gekommen und am 16. Oktober 2006 war ich auf Mitilini. Zweieinhalb Tage war ich in Pagani und danach bin ich nach Athen mit der Fähre gefahren. Dort war ich zwei Tage und ich hatte keinen Schlafplatz. Ich musste im Alexander Park schlafen. Danach bin ich nach Patras gefahren und wollte weg. Zwei Wochen lang habe ich versucht weg zu kommen aber habe es leider nicht geschafft. Dann habe ich entschieden nach Athen zurück zu gehen.
I am Arash, I am from Afghanistan and I live in Kiel in Germany at the moment. I came to Europe in 2006, on the 16th of October I arrived on Mytilene. I stayed in the detention centre Pagani for two and a half days and then went to Athens by ferry. There I stayed for two days and had no place to sleep. I had to sleep in the Alexander Park. I then went to Patras and just wanted to leave. I tried for two weeks to leave but unfortunately it did not work. I decided to go back to Athens.