Greece

A Fall in Athens

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Art work by a refugee child at Jasmine squat

I spent most of my fall in Athens even though it is not the kind of place I would normally want to visit for more than a day or two.  Athens is a train wreck — dirty, ugly, full of hazards like slippery sidewalks, crazy drivers and railings on sixth floor verandas that are easily scaled by ambitious toddlers. Continue reading

Skaramangas

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Skaramangas is a harbor west of central Athens named after a wealthy English family. It is also a refugee camp at the harbor west of central Athens named after a wealthy English family.  Since April, Skaramangas Camp is what must pass for home for about 3,000 people from Syria, Afghanistan, and Iraq. It is considered to be one of the good camps.

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Love and Anarchy in Exarchia

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Sayed’s photos of Muhtasham and Mutahar showing off their temporary tattoos.

I am back in Athens, Greece. I have returned to write, to find ways to be useful in the refugee community and to spend time with my Afghan family.  So far, I am doing pretty well with one thing on my list. Sayed and Nahid and their children have enriched my life immeasurably, and they are making the most of the dramatic changes in their lives since they left Afghanistan.   Continue reading

Sayed

 

13062533_1678324572432578_4992098866604731861_nThis is the story of Sayed and his family, refugees from Afghanistan who arrived in Greece in February 2016.  I met Sayed while I was working in Greece as one of thousands of volunteers supporting refugees from the Middle East and Asia.  Sayed’s story suggests some of the hardships and risks millions of people are taking to escape war and persecution.  Sayed encouraged me to write this so others will understand a little about what people will endure to find safety and freedom.

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