‘We don’t see our futures’: A resurgent refugee crisis in Greece

Sabr al-Kolak knew that his first few months in Europe would be difficult, but he was not prepared for what he met in Vial, a refugee camp on the Greek island of Chios, in the North Aegean.

Greece migrant crisis

A 30-year-old man from the Palestinian Gaza Strip arrived in early December in frosty weather after a dangerous trip through Egypt to Turkey, from where he had previously tried three times to get to Greece.

His fourth attempt led him to board a fragile boat from the neighboring coastal city of Cesme in Turkey.

Their place of residence is more like a test tube in which there were 4,650 refugees, because the place was crowded.

He spent weeks without a shower and could not digest inedible food, even after he stood in long lines in anticipation.

The daily fights he witnessed complemented his injuries.

Today, a cold breeze pierces the tents, people with nothing to do burn plastic bags and water bottles to warm themselves, and small mountains of garbage flock to the fields surrounding the spreading camp.

“The problems here have multiplied,” Al-Jazeera Al-Kolak says, “and we do not see ahead of our future.”

Together with 36,000 others, he was trapped on a Greek island.

As more than 60,000 people arrived in the country last year, the Greek government is looking for ways to reduce the number of arrivals and increase the number of deportations by thousands.