Global Refugee Crisis
In the Souda refugee camp, 10 people are living in the communal tent labeled Orange UN5.
Mohammad fled the violence of Iraq after he and his brother were attacked by an Iraqi gang. Mohammed sustained a head injury but his brother was shot and killed. Mohammed shared the photo of his brother. "I ask you to publish my story and publish all the stories of the people who are present here." While Mohammed continues to wait in Souda for his asylum review, he takes English classes to help prepare for his future life.
Omar worked for a company supporting the US-led coalition as a technician at the Baghdad Airport during the Iraq war. After US forces departed, supporters like Omar were left vulnerable to local forces. Omar shared the following video, recorded outside his parents' house on September 9, 2016, which shows Omar and his friend being taken in a car by local authorities. Omar was jailed and tortured for 5 days and then released. He still suffers severe physical and deep psychological pain from his torture. Two weeks ago in the Souda refugee camp he was beaten by men trying to steal his phone. The men broke his nose in the attack.
So far, Omar has spent approximately $17,000 seeking refuge. First, traveling in a circuitous route to Finland cost him $11,000 going through Iraq, Erbil, Instanbul, Izmir, Chios, Athens, Salonika, Maksonya, Serbia, Hungary, Austria, Denmark, Stockholm and then to Tokro, Finland. After being denied asylum in Finland, Omar was sent back to Baghdad, then spent another $6,000 traveling through Erbil, Basra, Erbil, Turkey, Izmir, Istanbul, Izmir and finally landing back in Chios, where he waits for his asylum to be reviewed.
Mahmoud fled Syria. He suffers from epilepsy. The medicine he has been prescribed makes his condition worse and so he has not been taking any medicine for months.
"The tents are always wet. There are rats that come here all the time and eat our food. All of us are sick, we can't stay here a long time. We are sitting here with no interviews, no money. There is no hope in the future for us."
Satar fled Iraq with his 6-year-old daughter, Manar, and 10-year-old son, Amar. They were living in Tent Orange UN5 with 7 other men. During their journey, a local mafia in Turkey robbed him of $4,000 and $2,500 from his friend. Seeking safety, they made the dangerous journey across the open ocean to Greece. “It was very dangerous. It was raining during the crossing. The Turkish government tried to stop us.” He had to leave 4 family members in Iraq.
“We left our country just because we want to be in a safe place. Everywhere we go there are mafias who steal our money and beat us. The government doesn’t help us. The UN they don’t give us any help. Also we are sick and when we go to the doctor all they say is ‘good good good good.’ They don’t give us any treatment for our sickness.”