The protests in Idomeni continue. Yesterday police tried to evict the protest on the railway tracks. During that, an old woman refused to leave and has been pulled away brutally. The people called out angry for sleeping on the railway tracks as a protest against this act of violence. Today, a journalist gave a big speaker to them. Now slogans and music out of the protest tent can be heard all over the camp.
A, B, C, D: In the self-organised school
Our group also visited the self-organised school once again. A week ago, Abudibo, a 60-year old man decided to start a learning space in one of the tents. He cleared one corner and went around to invite the children who live in the tents around. Since then, up to 20 kids between 7 and 15 years gather there every morning. In the beginning Abudibo tought them mathematics as he worked as a mechanic in Syria. He also started asking some of the inhabitants of the camp whether they would teach in the school. For example one who worked as a doctor back home will teach about science and anatomy. In this self-organised school, the children are really committed to learning! When we brought a board to the school tent today, the kids asked for an English lesson, in order to be able to communicate with all of the foreigners that come to the camp.
“No photos! Delete!”
After that, we got to know Newroz, who is pregnant in her 4th month. On the camp there is no gynecologist or any other specialized doctor. She is here with her fist child and is not only in need of medical support but also simply of a warm place to sleep. In this hard situation she can’t care for another child – Newroz actually wanted to abort the baby. All they gave to her were pain killers. The situation seems so desperate to her that she even thinks about going back to Syria: “How to go back?” was she asking us. Anyhow, she doesn’t have a place to return to as she and her husband sold everything they have. Apart from the precarious medical situation, being surrounded by journalists all of the time is stressing people out. Newroz was photographed while collecting water from a tank. For the photographers, it might have been another picture of Idomeni’s misery, for Newroz it was just disturbing. At least, now she knows how to say “No photos” and “delete” in English – for the next time.
Inside the train wagons
We also met a befriended journalist and got to know people in the camp from Syria, Iraq and the Yezidish minority in the camp. We interviewed a Syrian pharmacist who used to live and work in Germany. After he lost almost everything in Syria he decided to leave Syria to go back to Germany. Then he found himself stuck in Idomeni after the border was closed.
Later we were invited in the train wagons, where people live. We met the person who organize the caravans and he said that only pregnant women with their families are staying in these caravans, and that people only come back to the carvans in the night as it is really hard to stay during the day.