by Francesca Pierigh, ECRE
We visited EKO camp near Polykastro on 28 May 2016. The events mentioned in this story refer to that visit.

“We just eat and sleep. Every day we eat and sleep. We didn’t come here to eat and sleep.

As the sun is setting, we are almost at the exit of EKO camp, when a young man starts talking to us. He asks how we are doing, and he says “Ich bin im Urlab” – I am on holidays. Slightly confused by this, we think he is just trying to put a positive spin on the horrible situation he faces, but when he keeps saying the same, we begin to understand.

Mohammed, a man in his early 30s from Syria, lives in Germany. He managed to get there about a year ago, and is now working as an apprentice hairdresser – a job he also had in Syria – and studying the language. With his German clearly much better than ours, we somehow still manage to communicate and understand that he really is in Urlab, on holidays. He took time from his job and life in Germany to come down to Greece once again.

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