Letter to the World from Moria (No. 4)

copyright: migratory girl

Author: A migratory girl

A baby with 3 days Diarrhea and vomiting…

Just a mother can understand me. My baby got sick and she started vomiting and having Diarrhea for three day. I was seeing her crying, but I could do nothing. I was seeing her vomiting, but I could do nothing.

This is the third day that I am going to doctor waiting for four hours in the back of the door, but no one cares. In one day I had to bring her about 14 times to the toilette and every time I had to wait 10 minutes in the queue.

Continue reading …!

Letter to the World from Moria (No. 2)

copyright: Salinia Stroux

Author: A migratory girl

The way from Afghanistan to Greece; stories of unsafe border crossings

The reasons for my people of escaping their home are different according to their individual stories, their families, jobs and the situation in their villages / towns or origin, but the main factor is the internal and cross-border war – not just for us Afghans but for most of the refugees.

Continue reading …!

Letter to the world from Moria hotspot (No. 1)

Author: A migratory girl

Put yourself in our shoes! We are not safe in Moria. We didn’t escape from our homelands to stay hidden and trapped. We didn’t pass the borders and played with our lifes to live in fear and danger.

Put yourself in our shoes! Can you live in a place , that you can not walk alone even when you just want to go the toilette. Can you live in a place, where there are hundreds of unaccompanied minors that no one can stop attempting suicides. That no one stops them from drinking.

No one can go out after 9:00 pm because the thieves will steal anything you have and if you don’t give them what they want, they will hurt you. We should go to the police? We went alot and they just tell that we should find the thief by ourselves. They say: ‘We can not do anything for you.’ In a camp of 14.000 refugees you won’t see anyone to protect us anywhere even at midnight. Two days ago there was a big fight, but util it finished no one came for help. Many tents burned. When the people went to complain, no one cared and and even the police told us: ‘This is your own problem.’

In this situation the first thing that comes to my mind to tell you is, we didn’t come here to Europe for money, and not for becoming a European citizen. It was just to breathe a day in peace.

Instead, hundreds of minors here became addicted, but no one cares.

Five human beings burned, but no one cares.

Thousands of children didn’t undergo vaccination, but no one cares.

I am writing to you to share and I am hoping for change…”

Parwana

28.09.2019, Lesvos: melody and rhythm of freedom for all


On Saturday 28 of September 2019 we organized a small Concert in an old Olive Factory on the road to Panagiouda, close to the refugee camp of Moria. The Event lasted from 16 to 23 o clock. We had an exhibition of 10 years w2eu in Lesvos. 10 years of solidarity and struggles for freedom of movement. The Movies from the night before where screened again in den small Room. In the main Room played Live Music with Renovatio, Kashef, No Tunes, Musikarama, RAD featuring Shajan, Hot Band and many more. One day they before the Concert we went to Moria with Music activity to invite all the children and the adults to the Concert. Finally we where surprised to see so many families with their children to followed our invitation to the Event.

Our hope for Saturday was to come together in solidarity, people from inside and outside of Moria so called “Hot Spot”, and celebrate continuity and stubbornness we have learned together in these migrant struggles.


Finally the Event exceeded our expectations without comparison.


In the following days, more movies and pictures will be added to this post, so keep looking for more.

Open screening of refugee video makers 27th of September 2019

In the evening of 27th of September, an open event took place in the city of Mytilini, with short-movies about the hot-spot prisons of Lesvos and Samos – but also about reasons to flee and about daily experiences of discrimination. So many people came to see the screening that the place was finally so overcrowded that it was difficult for everybody to fit in.

The film-makers commented on their own movies. It was the first time they did a screening of their work all together and it brought together movies from different islands and time-periods. There will be a second chance to see the movies. Tonight they will be shown during the festival “melody and the rhythm of freedom for all“ in the old olive factory near to Panagiouda at the sea side.

You can find once more the full program of the video-screening here:

And here the invitation for today’s festival when the film-screening will come together with a music event of various musicians from near and far:

All together we had passed already an amazing day in the informal part of the hot-spot camp of Moria, playing music and documenting in the same time.

Here you can find the work of the video-makers online, so you can get an imagination of their work, in case you are far away:

We sing for Freedom in all of our Languages


The olive-grove besides Moria hot pot is huge. More the 13.000 people stuck are under horrible conditions inside and outside the monstrous hot spot prison Moria. In the olive grove, the informal camp behind the official one, the tents with plastic-covers grew to an own village. With several self-constructed bakeries, street vendors selling vegetables and other stuff along the main street, barbers and various other small businesses… Everywhere dust and the smell of wet clothes, electricity cables, paletts of wood,. Overcrowded and hard to imagine and to describe, if you did not see and smell and feel it live. Everywhere children in all ages. Most of their time people spend cueing for food, water, showers, toilets, clothes – and waiting and hoping for a chance to get a transfer to the mainland to finally continue their journey.



And then there is the sound of music. Appearing first in one corner within the tents. Then in the next and in the next… Small groups walk up the hill, mixed teams of musicians and people making connections and chatting in various languages. Many among us who crossed this rocky path before three years, before 10 years – remembering and feeling shared pain with the ones now here. Moving among the tents; through the tiny roads jumping over ropes. Stopping, being invited for tea. Meeting friends from the days before and meeting relatives. And then starting to play, to bring people together. We want to share this moment in which you can just forget for some minutes this whole shit. In teams as mixed as our group to show that solidarity has no borders.


The kids understand it immediately: “You know `hurriya´? No Moria – we want hurriya, freedom,” is what a small boy says when we walk a while together. A family father tells us how important it is to see the different communities dancing together, while only yesterday he saw a fight in front of his tent. An afghan lady, grandmother of a family here with three generations expresses her joy: “My heart is growing in this moment of joy to see all of you together and to hear this music. It is becoming big enough to go on and to know I can reach everywhere.”

The idea for this music-flashmob around the hot-spot of Moria was born with the restless question how to act under these conditions when the islands became big prisons and no form of protest seems strong enough to change it. Even when Moria burnt down several times, even after hundreds of protests, the islands were still kept closed. Governments changed, but freedom of movement for everyone never was considered an option. Instead the infamous “EU-Turkey ´Deal´ built more walls, enforced more deportations. Back under a right-wing government, nowadays things get even worse. We have seen revolt after revolt – and also a lot of violence among the people when the pressure on the people held under inhuman conditions was so much that daily problems could cause huge conflicts.

When musicians and friends finally gather all on the top of the hill, the crowd dances together and then starts to move. We walk down the hill, singing songs and playing rhythms about freedom in all of our languages. There is a moment when the beat starts growing, we reduce the speed. The sleeping anger and the desperation are too strong and we feel it is not the right moment to get louder. But we can all feel it, this sleeping lion of anger and the natural strive for freedom to break the chains, that is as old as oppression exists.

We invite everybody we meet to come together for a festival the next day. Because today we will continue. We will break isolation and come together for a festival in the old olive factory near Panagiouda, a spot between Moria and the camp “Kara Tepe”. We will continue to share our thoughts and dreams and tell each other stories about these struggles – and we will dance to the rhythms for freedom for all to make our hearts strong enough to go on until freedom of movement is everybody’s right.

In the afternoon we sit together and share some thoughts and feelings about the day:

“First I went to visit my aunt and when I saw her together with her family stuck in these miserable condition it was a shock for me. I wanted so much to get my relatives out of there or at least improve their situation there. Many of us have family members and friends in the camp in Lesvos. And then I looked around and saw all the others, in even worse conditions because they had no one to visit them – and in this moment I felt so powerless and scattered. It feels so huge the problem.”

“When I went up the hill of Moria-camp I was remembering so much the time when I had been arriving and was stuck in Samos. My mind was full of memories – also of so many bad moments. And I could really feel the people. And I told them: ´I am one of you, just some steps further.´”

“I saw the camps on the Aegean islands the first time when I was working as a translator as I arrived from the land. Working for this organisation inside a hot spot, it was forbidden for us to be in contact with the people – even to say hello on the street. And now this was the first time to be able to talk and to just behave like normal human beings with each other – a relieving experience.”

“I was playing music for many times in camps on the greek mainland. Again and again it is shocking that I am often the first greek person the people meet and speak to. It feels like a huge hug when people in poorest conditions invite you to sit with them. I felt this here again.”

“My first experience of the day was to be forced to queue again like in the past when waiting for my permit to leave the island by boat from EASO – which is one of the crazy ways to try to control us. Even when we are allowed to travel, with our asylum seeker cards they put us again in this dehumanising situation of queuing and feeling powerless, just waiting for being accepted or denied. I thought I give a shit on your decisions, in the worst case I will just stay with the people. And then we started playing music. And I forgot all this horror immediately. It was the first time when I was not only playing music but also singing in Farsi since I arrived in Greece in 2016. I think I did it because it felt so normal at this shared moment. Not like a music-show, but I was singing with my people, my family.”

“The moments of music we shared are a message by themselves. A message of freedom. But we need to move on more steps, come back and do it again, so that the moment of freedom turns into a condition of freedom, where the imagination overcomes the repression and one can dream and hope again.”

Μελωδία και ρυθμός ελευθερίας για όλες και όλους

μικρή συναυλία και μουσικές δραστηριότητες μνήμης με το Welcome to Europe

Θέλουμε να κοιτάξουμε πίσω στους μεταναστευτικούς αγώνες του παρελθόντος, αλλά και να αντιμετωπίσουμε την σημερινή πραγματικότητα στα νησιά. Την πραγματικότητα μιας οργανωμένης μόνιμης κρίσης με hot-spots, όπως η Μόρια, φτιαγμένα για να αποτρέπουν ανθρώπους και να σπάνε τη θέλησή τους να μετακινηθούν ελεύθερα –όμως οι άνθρωποι συνεχίζουν να μετακινούνται. 10 χρόνια μετά το Noborder ’09 στη Λέσβο θέλουμε να γιορτάσουμε την επιμομή και το πείσμα που μάθαμε μαζί σε αυτούς τους μεταναστευτικούς αγώνες.

Οι θάνατοι στη Μόρια και στα camps της ηπειρωτικής Ελλάδας μένουν στην αφάνεια. Θέλουμε να μνημονεύσουμε αυτούς που έχασαν τις ζωές τους και να ανανεώσουμε την υπόσχεσή μας να συνεχίσουμε την προσπάθεια μας να καταργήσουμε αυτά τα θανατηφόρα σύνορα που μας χωρίζουν.

  • 27.09.19 – ΠΑΡΑΣΚΕΥΗ
    Ώρα: περίπου 20:00 / Μυτιλήνη (προσεχώς η ακριβής τοποθεσία)
    Ανοιχτή προβολή μικρού μήκους ταινιών, γυρισμένων από προσφυγες σχετικά με τις φυλακές των hotspot σε Λέσβο και Σάμο. Θα ακολουθήσει συζήτηση
  • 28.09.10 – ΣΑΒΒΑΤΟ
    Ώρα: 16:00 / Μέρος: Ελαιοτριβείο Παναγιούδα
    “η μελωδία και ο ρυθμός της ελευθερίας για όλες και όλους”
    – Φεστιβάλ με μουσική (ανοιχτό μικρόφωνο για μουσικούς και συναυλίες με μελωδίες και ρυθμούς απο διαφορετικά μέρη), μεταξύ άλλων: musikarama, no tunes, rennovatio, kashef feat. boza tracks
    -Εκθέσεις και προβολές βίντεο προηγούμενων αγώνων στη Λέσβο και σύντομες ομιλίες φίλων που συμμετείχαν σε παλαιότερους αγώνες. Τοπικές ομάδες συντρόφων είναι ευπρόσδεκτες να φέρουν τα υλικά τους.
  • 29.09.10 – ΚΥΡΙΑΚΗ
    Ώρα: 12:00 / Μέρος: Θέρμη, στο λιμάνι
    Μνημείο για τους νεκρούς: Πριν 6 χρόνια χτίσαμε στη Θέρμη το μνημείο για τους νεκρούς στα ευρωπαϊκά σύνορα. Φασίστες το κατέστρεψαν δύο φορές. Κατά τη διάρκεια της τελετής θα τιμήσουμε τους νεκρούς στα σύνορα και στα hotspot μαζί με επιζήσαντες και συγγενείς.

melody and rhythm of freedom for all

small concert and musical activities in memory with welcome to europe

We would like to look back on migrant struggles and we want to face the reality today on the island. A reality of an organized permanent crisis, with the hot-spots like Moria made to deter people and break their will to move freely – but people continue moving. 10 years after Noborder ‘09 on Lesvos we want to celebrate continuity and stubbornness we have learned together in these migrant struggles.

The deaths in Moria and the camps on the mainland Greece are kept in silence. We want to commemorate those who died and to renew the promise to continue in our try to tear down these deadly borders that separate us.

27.09.19 – FRIDAY
Time: around 20:00 / Mytilini city (exact place to be announced)
Open screening of refugee video makers short-movies about the hotspot prisons of Lesvos and Samos followed by a discussion.

28.09.19 – SATURDAY
Time: 16:00 / Place: Olive fabric Panagiouda
“the melody and the rythm of freedom for all“
– Festival with music (open mic for local musicians and concerts with melodies and rhymes from different places), among them: musikarama, no tunes, rennovatio, kashef feat. boza tracks
– exhibitions and screenings of video-clips of former struggles on Lesvos and short speeches of friends who had struggled on this island before. Local groups of comrades are invited to share their materials.

29.09.19 – SUNDAY
Time: 12:00 / Place: Thermi, seaside at the port
Memorial for the dead: In Thermi we built 6 years ago the memorial for the dead at the European borders. Fascist destroyed it twice. During the activist ceremony we will commemorate the dead of the borders and the hot spot system together with survivors and relatives.

Lost at Border

A documentation of 10 years collective experiences in building Memorials to commemorate the people who lost their lives trying to reach Europe, seeking a life in peace and hoping to find safety.

We want to give back a piece of dignity, to those who died – right here – into the senselessness of the European borders – and we want to thank those who risk their lives to rescue.

All of these dead people have a face, a name. All of them leave behind relatives and friends. Besides the bodies also their hopes and dreams are lost.“

Infomobile 2017-11-01 15:36:40

Today in the afternoon more then 50 people gathered in the harbour of Thermi/Lesvos in commemoration of the dead of the European border regime. Among them were survivors of a shipwreck on 23rd of April of this year in the North of Lesvos as well as people active in rescue. The memorial happens once every year since October 2013 and was initiated by the Welcome to Europe network.

copyright: Marily Stroux

When we started to remember this year, who we have to mourn for, we realized that we are more and more confronted with death even after people have survived the sea. We had to commemorate today also friend who died last winter in the hot-spot of Moria, because they had been left during winter in terrible conditions. We are in close contacts with families that they waited too long to be reunited with their beloved even if they had the right for family reunification and died before. If you really want to mourn the dead of the Sea, you have to respect also the survivors. The only solution to end their suffering is to create safe passages, to give the people their right to move freely – and for those who are stuck here to finally open the islands. This is why every memorial for us is combined with the promise to tear down the borders that killed them and to create another, a welcoming Europe.

This year the memorial plate was renewed and fixed. We thank to: the local club of the fishermen ΝΕΣΕΑΛΘ “ΠΟΣΕΙΔΩΝ“, Stellios from the shipyard in Kontouroudia, metal work Gianis Moisis, Chrisanthos, Alcalica-ALM eV, Simos and Web copy shop.

Memorial speech

25th of October 2017

We came together today here in the harbour of Thermi for remembering the dead of the European border regime.

Today we came here together with Joelle, Sylvie and Victoria. They survived when a boat was sinking in the North of this island on 23rd of April this year. Joelle and Sylvie asked themselves where the others disappeared when they drifted for many hours in the Sea until they where finally rescued. Only one month later Victoria was born here in Mitilini – and she reminds us, that life continues.

copyright: Marily Stroux

Since we started to remember here in Thermi in 2013 every year we had to come back. Every year the death by the border regime continued. Every year we came and we renewed the promise not to give up until the killing stops.

It did not stop – even if many of us tried hard. This year until today more then 2.600 people have been killed in the Mediterranean Sea again. Also this year we have been in touch with many people who survived shipwrecks – as well as people who give us testimonies of death in the deserts even before people reach the sea.

We are here together with people who went again and again to the beaches. Who went with boats at the Sea to rescue. Who started an Alarm Phone hotline for boat people. Who just went to the sea for fishing and became rescuers and who had to take the dead bodies from the sea. Who held the relatives and friends of the drowned after they discovered the loss. Who shared parts of the way with the survivors.

copyright: Marily Stroux

All of us did not close our eyes. We remember and don’t forget.

We all feel ashamed in the moment of these deaths because we failed in our attempt to stop this murderous regime and to create a welcoming Europe.

This year we have to remember not only the death at Sea.

Ever since the closure of the Balkan Corridor on March 8th 2016 and the implementation of the dirty EU-Turkey Deal in March 20th inhuman conditions for refugees in Greece have caused death both in the EU-funded so-called hotspots on the Aegean Islands as well as in the newly established emergency reception sites all over the mainland.

While almost a million refugees had crossed through Greece and over the Balkans in 2015 and not few of them even got a protection status in countries of the European North, their relatives got caught up in limbo trying to survive in tents, without access to doctors, lawyers and under deplorable conditions. Thousands of families with small kids, slept on the mere floor and had no access to sufficient and clean toilettes, showers, warm water or eatable food for months.

When winter came the situation escalated and in January 2017 the tragedy peaked in a dozen of deaths all connected to the harsh weather conditions and the lack of proper heating in the makeshift and provisory housing people in hot-spot Moria or else were forced to stay.

– We remember a 66 years old Kurdish woman and her granddaughter (6 years old). They died on November 24th, 2016 after a portable cooking gas stove exploded inside a tent, setting on fire parts of the Moria hotspot on the island of Lesvos in Greece. The 30-year-old mother of the child, and her other 4-year-old child, (the family are Syrian Kurds) were seriously injured with third degree burns to about 55% of their bodies and were transferred to Athens for medical treatment.

– We remember the 29-year-old refugee who tragically lost his life in Chios after putting fire on himself in March 2017.

– We remember a 22-year-old Egyptian man. He died on Tuesday, January 24th, 2017 in a tent at Moria in his sleep. The day after, on January 25th, a 41-year-old Iraqi man was found dead at the Samos hotspot. On January 28th, a 45-year old Syrian father of six children, died in the same tent at Moria where the Egyptian had died four days earlier. On Monday, January 30th, a 20-year-old Pakistani man lost his life, again at Moria, and an Afghan man was transferred to an intensive care unit in a critical condition and remained in a life-threatening condition for several days.

– We remember a 5-year-old child that died in a tent in Moria, she was seriously sick and the last she saw from this world was a hot spot made to detere people.

– We remember also the man who died last Saturday during the riots in Moria after having a heart-stroke.

At the mainland, refugees lost their lives on the highways next to their camps in traffics accidents, they got severe injuries from the makeshift heating they tried to use in order not to freeze in their tents, and dozens lost their lives when the ambulances arrived to late in the marginalized camps.

We remember our friends, whose lives got lost after they had managed to escape war, after they risked death when crossing one border after the other clandestinely, and after finally reaching Europe.

– We remember Ismail from Syria, who died from cancer in Skaramangas camp before being able to join his son in Sweden.

– We remember 2-months-old Noursan from Syria, who passed away on the way from Ritsona camp to the hospital.

– We remember one-year-old Safa from Syria who was enduring in Athens childrens hospital after more than 10 months in Katsikas camp in Northern Greece in order to get the permit to leave the Germany for the so much needed heart transplant. Both German and Greek authorities did not react fast enough to let her join her family. In the end her father and the three other sisters and brothers moved to Germany to her mother and other sisters and brothers leaving her small body back in a graveyard in Athens.

– We remember also the 57-year-old husband of Fatima from Syria, who passed away in Filipiada camp after a heart attack. His wife and daughter were forced to wait seven more months to join their two sons in Germany in order to be able and grief for their father and husband together.

– We remember 7-year-old Nourian from Syria, who drowned in Skaramangas the days his father finally could come from Germany and visit him and his mom after months apart.

copyright: Marily Stroux

Lets not forget also our friends who stayed with us in City Plaza and with whom we shared not only a home and food but also a common struggle for a better world.

– We remember Hamid from Afghanistan, who drowned in Athens while waiting for months to reunite with his daughter in Switzerland. He left his beloved wife Feruza, two daughters and a son back. He stayed for months in Elliniko camp where he would always return even after moving to Plaza in order to visit friends and help cleaning the areal in front of the camp.

– We remember 62-year-old Fatima, the mother of Mustafa and Selah, from Syria, who passed away shortly before they were scheduled to join their family in France through relocation.

copyright: Marily Stroux

Here and today, we want to stop for a moment and create a space for all those who lost their lives. Remembering here means to save the stories of the uncounted who died at the borders of Europe. They died in the desert, in the sea, they died even at the deadly inner-european borders.

They had been on the way to change their lives on their own. Their death is the death in search for freedom. And that concerns all of us.

There would be many more names and many more stories. We will never forget all of them and we will today remember especially the friends of Joelle and Sylvie.

We will remember them because all of them they have families, they have friends they left behind – who cannot be here with us, because these borders even separate them now.

So let us speak out their names:

 

Maman Nicole – she lives!

Chochou – she lives!

Gilaine – she lives!

Sylvia – she lives!

Tedy – he lives!

Fati – he lives!

Mali – he lives!

Pider – he lives!

Peter – he lives!

Junior – he lives!

 

We will never forget them.

We promise to give our best to tear down the borders that killed them.

We invite you to have a rest in memory of them – and then to move on: to tear down the borders and to build another, a welcoming Europe.

 

copyright: Marily Stroux