Refugees in Kos

If you live in Europe, you have probably seen the photos. The photos of people fighting to get to the police station, the people crawling at the beach after nearly drowning. Yes, we saw the refugees in Kos. I have then read a lot of opinions about the refugees and I thought it was about time that I shared our experiences and thought about all of it here.

The first meeting with the refugees

We didn’t spent much time in Kos before meeting the refugees. We had to walk pass the police station every time we went to town. At that time there weren’t as many refugees as there is today and the refugees in Kos hadn’t even hit the Danish TV at the point. They were a rather small group of men sitting on the beach and benches. We didn’t know who these men were at first. They weren’t very clean and their clothes were worn. My first thoughts were that these men were homeless, which most of them probably were, and I feared that they might wanted to steal our things. Yes, I am not proud of that thought, but I have had quite a few things stolen while travelling. As we approached the men I got a feeling that these weren’t just homeless. The look in their eyes were different. They were looking at the ocean with an empty look in their eyes. It was actually a bit scary. I have never seen such a look before and here there were so many of them. We then went to dinner, where we asked a local who all these men were. She told us that these were refugees coming from Syria to make a better life for themselves and their family. After that point we started to notice the refugees all over the town.

The many fates of the refugees

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When we started to notice all the refugees all over the place we started to feel bad. I am not saying that they ruined our holiday because they didn’t, but they did make an impact on us. Every time we walked pass them a bit of our heart broke. Here we were walking around with our sunglasses on, a camera in our hands and in our clean clothes. We were going home within a week and get away from it all, but this was their reality and they just couldn’t leave. We saw a mother and her two small children sleep under a bridge, men starring at the sea and people on the burst to tears. All they could do wait….Most of them had paid all of their money to go to paradise/Europe and now they were stuck in this tiny island far from the place that they might have been dreaming of. Yes, Kos is a part of Europe, but most of the refugees want to go to the places where their family lives in Europe. Most of them might not realise that their struggle is far from over – the struggle has just begun, now they have to learn a new languange, live with a new culture and so on. Their trip to Kos is dangerous and hard. Most of them arrived by a rubber boat and was instructed by the smugglers to destroy the boat when reaching Greek waters so that Kos has to take them in, but a lot of them doesn’t know how to swim and a lot of those who can’t afford a life jacket will probably die.

Reflections about the refugees

Yes, the refugees go through a long and dangerous struggle to get to Europe and a lot of them bring their children along. A parent wouldn’t take their child through unless they absolutely have to! They leave most of their possessions at their country and only bring the necessities along with them. We saw two kids playing with plastic cups at the beach and decided to buy them a small thing. We ended up with buying soap bubbles, which we gave to their parents, so we wouldn’t scare the children. Never have I seen more grateful people. They couldn’t stop thanking us and their eyes went wet. They called their children who jumped out of joy and sent us a huge smile while waving at us enthusiastically. It was a very small thing for us to do and I wish we could do more, but I don’t know what else we could do than buying something for the children. I hope this family and others will get a new start in Europe. I realise that there is a limit of how many people each country can take in, but I hope they will take in as many as possible, because these people are not trying to exploit our wealthfare systems. They just want a better life for their children and for themselves. They don’t have anything. A small thing will mean the world to them and they are willing to do what they have to do in order to get a better future. Europe are proud of saving the jews during WWII. The war in Syria might not have the scale of a world war, but they are still facing a day of bombing, a day of horror and a day of death every single day – why are they so different from the jews? The refugees are innocent people to so I think we should try to save as many as possible.

What do you think Europe should do?

 

Tine

Siden jeg var barn har jeg drømt om at tage ud og rejse. I år 2011 tog jeg for første gang afsted på en længere rejse. Det endte med at blive seks måneders solorejse og siden har jeg blot forsat med at rejse. Jeg elsker kultur, at se steder som jeg ikke har set før og mødet med de lokale. Jeg rejser sjældent med en guidebog eller kort, da jeg er ret god til at finde vej og elsker at gå på opdagelse. Til gengæld er også jeg utrolig god til at miste mine ting og burde snart indberegne erstatning for mistede ting i mine budgetter....

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6 Comments

  1. Åhhh et meget stort og svært spørgsmål at besvare. Hvis jeg bare havde en løsning men det har jeg desværre ikke. Flygtninge har vil altid blive et stort problem både for dem som flygter og de lande som de flygter til. Jeg kan godt forstå at det påvirker en meget for det er sørgeligt og vi i Europa burde have resurser til at tage imod dem.
    /Annette

    1. Jeg har heller ikke svaret på problemerne og du har nok desværre ret i, at der altid vil være flygtninge og store problemer for dem og modtagerlandene. Men det var så hjerteskærende at mødet dem på Kos. Jeg håber, at man finder en løsning, så vi kan hjælpe så meget som muligt for ja, Europa har mange ressourcer…men spørgsmålet er også om vi har nok og om politikerne gider bruge de penge som det vil koste….

  2. Det er sådan et kæmpe problem både for de lande de vil til, og for dem selv. Selvom de også får mange flygtninge i det sydlige Europa, så er der tendens til at de fleste søger nord på – på grund af pengene. Selvom det lyder grisk, så er det altså sandt, at det er det de fleste flygtninge går efter. Og man kan jo godt forstå dem, for vi ville sikkert gøre det samme hvis vi var i deres situation. Jeg ville personligt hjerteligt gerne tage imod flygtninge i Danmark, hvis de altså bare kunne bevise at de kan opføre sig som medborgere. Jeg ved godt at der er mange flygtninge der tilpasser sig og bliver en del af danskerne, og de er mere end velkomne. De må rigtig gerne have den religion de praktiserer og deres personlige særheder som alle mennesker har, så længe de holder det for dem selv (det gælder ikke kun muslimer). Men der er virkelig også en stor del der egentlig ikke ønsker den hverdag vi har i Danmark, laver kriminalitet, malker systemet for penge og forsøger at ødelægge det samfund vi danskere i så mange år har bygget op, fordi de nu mener de har ret til det. Når flygtninge bevæger sig ud på det lav, og ikke sætter pris på at de har fået lov at være i landet og får de mange muligheder i livet som de ikke havde før, så er de bare ikke en del af Danmark og skal heller ikke være det.
    Jeg håber også der kommer en løsning på problemet en dag 🙂

    – Camilla

    1. Det er et kæmpe problem og selvfølgelig er der mange som søger mod pengene og ja, det havde vi nok også selv gjort. Jeg tror, at det er sværere end som så at sortere de “dårlige” fra – desværre. Det er klart at foretrække, at have dem som gerne vil bidrage til samfundet, men som sagt, så er det nok svært at finde ud af hvem der vil bidrage og hvem som vil malke systemet. Jeg tror faktisk ikke at det er så mange, som egentlig udnytter systemet eller begår kriminalitet, det er bare ofte dem som vi hører om…men jeg tror faktisk, at langt størstedelen af flygtninge klarer sig godt i Danmark og meget gerne vil bidrage til samfundet, det er dog ikke altid lige let, at få lov til… :-/ Jeg tror desværre aldrig, at der vil komme en løsning som ikke også har lidt problemer med sig…men tak for dit input, det er altid spændende at høre hvad andre mener 🙂

  3. This is a great post and really interesting to read. These people need a safe place to live (it is not about a better life for the majority but a life where they can actually live without being killed) . There are currently more displaced people in the world than ever before in history so 1 in 10 people can not return to their homes. They have to go somewhere, poorer nations are currently taking the majority of the load while richer countries do whatever they can to keep ‘them’ out. This is a world issue and needs the world to do something about it…..sadly many countries including my own Australia just ignore the issue and convince many this is a lifestyle choice..this is not true and these people need to be treated with respect and resettled in a safe environment. Refugees become wonderful citizens as they are appreciative of their new homes I hope the people you met on Kos find a safe haven somewhere. (sorry this is one of my passions)

    1. I think so too! And I think we would do the same of there was a war (or something similar) in our country. I understand that people want to maintain our society and perhaps doesn’t want to pay money for the refugees, but I think you are right most refugees will become wonderful citizens and embrace their new home. I hope so too! And I hope that our small presents helped them get a more positive impression of Europe, because they have a hell of a trip left and they will met a lot of prejudices along the way….No worries, it is always interesting to hear what others might think 🙂

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