Saturday, August 29, 2015

Just Hours Ago...Pictures of Refugees From Syria, Arriving at Greek Islands

More than half of the 264,500 people who have crossed the Mediterranean in the hope of settling in Europe this year have arrived in Greece - and most of those have landed on the five Greek islands closest to the Turkish coast. Photographer Fernando Del Berro watched some of them arrive on the northern shore of Lesbos.

 Fifty metres from the shore Fouad, from Damascus, raises his two-month-old baby above his head and cries "Freedom!" Many of the other passengers also erupt in cries of joy.
 Closer to the shore, some throw themselves into the water before the bottom of the dangerously overloaded boat touches the pebbles.

 At the end of the 14km trip from Turkey, they are euphoric and cannot wait to be back on dry land - this time Europe, near the village of Efthalou.
The Refugees landed on the Island of Lesbos

 For some the relief at the end of the risky crossing brings tears. Many tell stories of the Turkish coastguard firing water cannon in an attempt to fill the boats and make them sink.

Those who cannot swim find the journey traumatic. Children may need comforting. Tamara, from Syria, has salt water on her hair, face and clothes, but it will dry rapidly in the scorching heat.

The boats often arrive at the hottest time of day, and many on board are dehydrated as well as exhausted. Ojwan, from Aleppo, holds his two sons, sighing: "We're safe now."
A couple take a celebratory selfie next to the flimsy boat that carried them to Europe. Smugglers charge 1,000 euros for adults and 600 for children. One boat may carry 60 people.

 Saad, from Idlib in Syria, holds his nephew while helping his sister to clamber up the slope behind the beach. Local volunteers often meet the boats, hand out water, and explain how to find buses that travel to the island's main town, Mytilini.

 The climb up from the sea to the road is steep in parts of this 13km-long coast. To get to the bus it's a 10km walk that everyone must make, regardless of age or fitness.
For a long time the Turkish coast remains visible behind the travellers. Syrians fleeing a distant war, dragging babies and belongings, have become a familiar sight on the island.
 The UNHCR and Medecins Sans Frontieres run four buses daily to Mytilini from two northern villages, Molyvos and Sykamineas. But up to 1,000 people may arrive on this coast in 24 hours, so some cover the full 65km on foot. Saad and his family are lucky enough to have seats.
Young man stares out of bus window
Anyone who has left Kabul, Damascus or Baghdad and arrived on Lesbos is already a long way from home, but this may be just the start of a longer journey


  1. My dear Lady,
    This is so sad , I hope they make it to a safe place , their journey has just begun. Pleople should realize that we need to help each other instead all this dang killing , is it not so ?

    Jenny is as mad as a wet hen , she gets emails from Greenpeace each week , checked her dad email and wanted to know where was her mama , Jerry said she is working , your daddy is in court . Mae said here she come G.
    Jenny spoke and said I need you right now poppa , I want to ask for help for climate change . I said OK I will do the best I can , Jenny said , poppa that is all I ask. I call Nee to see how to put a tracer on so we will know how many logged on to send letters to Obama .
    Check out Starhooks , those are her words , as her daddy would say , Jen has her panties in a bunch (laughing my butt off).
    Let me know what you think .
    Hugs and Love


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