As European politicians fruitlessly figure out how to resolve the ever-worsening refugee situation, Europe’s inaction has tuned refugees into invisible beings whose muffled sounds of suffering turn some of our hearts into stone.
Some Europeans are indifferent to the plight of such people because they believe that they could never become refugees in their lifetimes.
One family of four, a mother and two teenage daughters and an adult son, arrived two weeks ago to the Moria refugee camp on the island of Lesvos in Greece. For many, Lesvos is the first stop of asylum seekers coming to Europe from Turkey.
The situation at the Moria camp could be characterized by overcrowding, lack of hygiene, and too few services to attend the estimated 12,000 asylum seekers effectively at the camp.
“The toilets are a kilometer from their tent, and the journey there is dangerous because it is downhill and slippery when it rains,” said a relative of the family that now lives on Lesvos. “If you get to the toilet, you’ll find long lines with families with ten children waiting for their turn.”
While we live in such difficult times that refugees and migrants cannot travel freely as they have done since humans left Africa about 40,000 years ago, an uncertain future awaits many today.
Even so, let’s wish this new family the best of luck in Europe and that they will find what so many migrants and refugees have searched before them: a new life.