2020 was the year the government vowed to “put NGOs in order” and millions were controversially allocated to tackle the issue. Funding was even granted to NGOs that did not meet the criteria set by the government.
For a year and a half, Hamid Nasseri moved daily from the center of Athens to the northern suburbs and took care of the gardens at houses there. Until the coronavirus appeared, the country entered a second lock down, and he was forced to lose his job and income again.
When multiple fires destroyed Europe’s notorious refugee camp, it became apparent that more than 3,000 asylum seekers were missing already. While authorities remain silent regarding their whereabouts, we met some of them. We witnessed them living in limbo, working under exploitation, and being victims of brutal attacks; crossing borders to reach the “European dream” or failing to do so. We also delved into the government’s practices of fabricating the numbers.
In 2016 Mahmood left Jalalabad, his hometown in Afghanistan, and embarked on a dangerous journey to Europe. After six months he made it to Greece. We meet him in a flat in the suburbs of Athens, which he shares with up to twelve other compatriots; struggling with the Greek asylum services; making a living on the streets; and strolling through the center of Athens. This is his story.
Two months after the fire that destroyed Moria camp, the overcrowded refugee facility on the island of Lesvos, an asylum seeker who lived there, remembers the events of that night and what happened in the days that followed.
A logbook was found in the ashes of Europe’s most notorious refugee camp. Written by the workers that were there to protect the unaccompanied minors, but often felt incapable of doing so, its pages reveal the horrific reality that they endured. The logbook of Moria’s safe zone is an indisputable document of Europe’s failure to protect the most vulnerable group of asylum seekers that sought safety within its borders.
Marios and Mirela came to Greece 24 years ago, and their children were born here. They cultivate garlic − a local product which has helped the region of Platykampos, Larissa, gain international attention. But they are still waiting for Greek citizenship.
Theoretically, “24-hour care and emergency protection” is provided to the unaccompanied minors in the safe zones of the refugee camps. But the cases that Solomon brings to light show that reality is often far from what is expected in theory.
A short rain in Lesbos turned everything into mud in some parts of the “Moria 2.0”, the new camp in Lesbos, for one more time. What will winter look like for its thousands of residents?