Lost Soul of a Pakistani Migrant and His Family…
Ive gone down to the port for a look round as a number of refugees have just been brought in by the coast guard and are now waiting for a UNHCR coach to take them to Moria so they can get registered and start their journey into Europe, well thats if they are Syrian, Iraqi or Afghan, anyone else will have to stay on the island of Lesvos and wait for the inevitable, deportation, with only two choices… Deportation back to their home country or Turkey.
Whilst there I see a family sat near the mural at the far corner of the port car park, the little girl is sat playing in the dirt whilst mum and dad are just sitting there gazing, not really paying attention to the commotion around them just metres away.
I walk over to them, Ive met many refugees and migrants here on camps and in the town and found talking to them and hearing their stories has made me better understand the crisis than just watching the news back in the UK and doing my own research.
I start talking to the father, he has rather good English and he begins to explain he is from a small village in Pakistan close to the Afghan border and has fled because of the Taliban and the lack of intervention his own government has done in the area to combat the Taliban.
He fled back in November of 2015 and has been on the island since February with his family and have basically been sleeping rough since arriving.
The rest of their family are still back in Turkey trying to scrape some money together to afford the boat journey to Lesvos. I ask why they haven’t headed up to Better Days for Moria (Afghan Hill) and the father says he’s worried about being deported as he’s heard of the police walking into the camp and taking people. He feels if he went and he and his family were taken by the police, that he would never be reunited with the rest of his family that are still back in Turkey.
I think of the petty things families back in the UK have to deal with that we get so stressed about and feel ashamed listening to this man’s troubles, the weight of the world is truly on his shoulders. He shows me his papers that he got from Moria, he doesn’t have much longer left. Basically if you are Syrian you have 6months to leave Greece, if you are anyone else you get just 90days to leave Greece. I give him the few euros I have in my pocket, wish him all the best and leave, as I walk away, I wonder if I should have stayed and listened some more, but what could I say? What could I do?
Lesvos is full of stories like this – If you are looking to come over and volunteer, I would say you will never regret it, the experience will change you forever.