Eyes of Moria

Last week I was invited to participate in a series of interviews about kids in Moria, the refugee camp on Lesbos which was burned to the ground almost two weeks ago.

The interviews are part of a documentary to make the tragedy which took place in the night of September 10th more personal. Reading about the 13.000 inhabitants and describing them as refugees stuck on Lesbos tells us something about the numbers and the size of the problem, but we need constant reminders that these people aren't a number.

The idea behind the interviews was to show camp life through the eyes of the children who ended up there.

The question by the broadcasting organisation to and 24 other people who have visited Moria in the past: "Do you have a story about a child you've met there which stuck with you and would you like to share that?"

I have so many.
I at the time of my first visit to Lesbos wrote blogposts about a few of these encounters.

One blogpost about Naveed. Portrayed below, whom I asked if he was afraid about the fact that a doctor was going to cut of three of his fingers the next day.

And one about Jalal and Wahid who found electricity more important than food. And how they were half way to the UK, the place they were trying to get to.

But there were so many other kids that touched our hearts there.

And now these kids have to flee once again. This time from the fire, previous times from bombs, terrorists or draughts. How many times are we going to look the other way and ignore them? How much longer can we pretend to be humane?

This is happening on European soil. In The West. On a beautiful, now torn, island where we normally sip our Ouzos and honeymoon on beaches.

I desperately want to write that we are treating these children, their mothers and fathers like criminals. But criminals are (thankfully) much better off. Most of them have a dot on the horizon, they know how long they are stuck in a hole, they have their basic needs met, like food and shelter from storms.

These migrants have less than nothing.
They fled with their most valuable possessions, everything that could fit in one bag and now even those things got burnt in the fire. There is absolutely no dot on the horizon, they don't know where they end up, if and when they can ever climb out of that hole.

If you want to act and help these displaced children, please donate generously to one of the organisations below. These have been vetted by Kinder.

Update September 23rd 2020

Below a recent video of Jawad, a boy who lived in Moria, showing us what it is like to be there now.


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