My Refugee Journey Update – 16th August 2016

Bashar Matar with two of his brothers back in Greece.
Bashar Matar with two of his brothers back in Greece.

I’ve been back in the UK now for two months after 7months travelling to refugee camps across Europe, my final stop was Belgrade and before that was Idomeni where I witnessed the final weeks of the camp in the north of Greece on the border with Macedonia…  Most of the refugees there had been stuck in limbo in the camp for over 3months after Macedonia shut its border and patrolled it with Military.

During my time there I met some great people who became friends and one of these was Bashar Matar from Aleppo, he was part of a family that from day one took me in as part of the family whilst I stayed in Idomeni, I actually met Bashar and his family back in March 2016 when they had just landed on the shores of Lesvos, the Greek island that most refugees leaving Turkey by boat travelled to on their way to mainland Europe…  For Bashar his journey has almost finished, he made it to the UK a couple of weeks ago, but sadly the rest of his family are still stuck in a forced refugee camp in Thessaloniki, Greece which is nothing more than a disused warehouse on an industrial park out of the way of the general population which is much the same as most of the refugee camps in Greece now and since Idomeni was evicted by the Police and Army back in May 2016, it seems the hidden away refugees have been forgotten and disappeared off our TV screens.

For Bashar, his life is for now safe in Birmingham and living in a central location hotel, I will be visiting him this weekend to see how he got to the UK and what lies ahead of him here in the UK.

Published by mikebuss

Former British Soldier and Professional World Record Breaking Ultra Endurance Athlete... Now Freelance Photojournalist and co-owner of smmb media UK. Photojournalist - Adventurer - Athlete - Fitness Professional - PR & Marketing Contact:

17 thoughts on “My Refugee Journey Update – 16th August 2016

  1. Great photo. I find your journey around refugee camps really cool. I actually wanted to go to one of the camps to volunteer when the crisis was at its peak, but I never did. Good to know that Bashar is okay now!


    1. Did I like these places?…. Well yes and no, Yes because it was an amazing experience that I will be continuing, but no as the reason I was going was because so many people were and still are suffering.


  2. very much relieved to read that Bashar is safe in the UK. I’ll be lookomg forward to reading am update when you visit him.


  3. Wow, you did 7 months travelling to refugee camps? I will also read your other posts about this. very impressive. Great thing that you did this. I hope everything will be ok for Bashar and his family. Thanks for sharing your stories!


  4. Hey Mike, I bet this must be one hell of an experience and kudos to you for writing about one of the gravest issues of the current decade. I really wish you luck on all your journeys and I hope the refugees find some solace soon.


  5. This is such an ungraceful tragedy , forced by our politicians. It is absolutely great to hear/read the real voice of what’s going on. It is so worrying to watch how this all goes out of order and what’s happening on our doorsteps not less. That post has to be shared !


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