SKALA SIKAMINEAS, LESBOS, GREECE
Refugees from Syria rest on the coast of the Greek island of Lesbos. Thousands of refugees cross the Aegean Sea from Turkey in rubber boats every day, fleeing conflicts in Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan.
A Syrian refugee who came to Lesbos that week by one of many boats told me his new life had just started. “New life as a human being,” he added.
I hope he will not question this emotional sentence on the long way to a new home even though there are signs from the first seconds of their arrival that the refugees didn’t land in a paradise.
Every boat that comes to the island is greeted by two groups. There are dedicated volunteers who work in shifts during day and night to help refugees in their first hours in Europe—and then there are also groups of “engine hunters,” as they are called here. Very often they come first. They only care for the boat. The engines are removed before the last person is taken care of. Business is business.
It was a long week full of almost surreal scenes…
Photograph by Maciek Nabrdalik