Odyssey Entry V: Learning from the United Ba’alam

35 Syrians met on a dinghy (‘ba’alam’) from Turkey to Lesvos. 32 are Muslim, three Christian. Five are women and five are children. Some were pro-government soldiers; others were anti-government protesters.
“We were strangers in Turkey but now we are a family,” Abdul Majid began. … More Odyssey Entry V: Learning from the United Ba’alam

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Odyssey Entry III: Crete & the Myth of the Economic Migrant

Crete is a remarkable island of outstanding natural beauty and vibrant traditional culture. I arrived there at the end of the tourist season, as the tavernas and hotels were preparing for hibernation. In Chania, a beautiful coastal town drenched in romantic colonial charm, a great black banner reading “Refugees Welcome” hung from the old Venetian … More Odyssey Entry III: Crete & the Myth of the Economic Migrant

Entry IV: The Sinking of the Nameless: Recollections of a Volunteer/Journalist

Great tragedies are supposed to have names. The Titanic, the Lusitania… Their dead live forever in the stories we tell about them and the living fight for change in their memory that they might not die in vain. This is just a boat of ‘migrants’ that sunk in the Aegean, another number, another regrettable spat … More Entry IV: The Sinking of the Nameless: Recollections of a Volunteer/Journalist

Odyssey Entry II: Lesvos’ Hidden Humanitarian Disaster

12th October 2015 – Police beatings, tear gas, hunger and chaos. It sounds more like the repression of the Arab Spring than UN staffed registration centre for refugees. But at Camp Moria on the Greek island of Lesvos, this is the shameful reality. Lesvos has long been on the front line of Europe’s refugee crisis, … More Odyssey Entry II: Lesvos’ Hidden Humanitarian Disaster

Odyssey Entry I: There Is No Migrant Crisis

The vast majority of the men, women and children crossing into Europe from the south refugees from war and persecution in Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq and Somalia. But there are no migrants anymore. Not in this crisis. The three furies of conflict, climate change and chronic poverty have wrought instability throughout the global South. It’s usually … More Odyssey Entry I: There Is No Migrant Crisis