In this “Notes from the field”, we – liana Papangeli, Stavros Malichudis and with our colleague Nasruddin Nizami’s contribution – share an unpublished piece from earlier this year that attempts to explain a common and noticeable phenomenon that we often encounter in our coverage of refugees.
Every year on January 1st, Nasruddin Nizami, our colleague here at Solomon, gets on social media to send wishes and greetings to his loved ones.
As the COVID-19 restrictions are still in force throughout Greece, and citizens are instructed to avoid gatherings, he exchanged even more online messages this year. But, amid wishes for a happy new year, Nasruddin also responds to the notifications from a particularly long list of Facebook friends’ birthdays.
Here is just a glimpse of what his Facebook feed looked like on January 1st:
Nasruddin was born in Afghanistan, has also lived in Pakistan, and has been employed in the humanitarian sector for many years now. As a result, many of his Facebook friends have a refugee background and dozens ―regardless if they live in Greece, in other European countries, back in his home country, or Pakistan― appear to have their birthdays on the first day of the new year.
But it’s not because of pure coincidence, rather there are specific reasons for it.
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