Greece, November 3, 2016: The mass exodus of people from the middle eastern countries such as Syria Somalia and Iraq to Europe has the European Union (EU) leaders in a state of panic. With millions of refugees seeking shelter in Europe, each country is trying to fend for itself and many in response have closed their respective land borders restricting migration.
EU has also brokered the EU-Turkey refugee deal in an attempt to curb the growing number of refugees. In this depressing turn of events, the Khora community is trying to improve the standard of living of the refugees.
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Khora community is run by volunteers from different backgrounds ranging from International development to building and teaching in Exarchia, Athens. It is an anarchic place and has such a history of feuds with the government that even the police avoid wandering into the place.
The Khora is run in a five-story building with amenities ranging from dentists to human rights lawyers. It is a legally run organisation that provides a safe haven for the refugees, at least for a short while. Ali shokri, a christian individual who fled Iran due to religious persecution says”Most people want to come here as they need everything from food to education”.
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One of the most distinctive attributes of this community is its free restaurant system which draws refugees to it. A Syrian cook named Hasan Mansur works here and even tries to make staple Syrian and Lebanese food for the refugees .It is also undergoing some work to provide an improved centre.
Another volunteer Lisa Bernte was found saying”The reality is that the borders are closed and politics is not going to change all over Europe. The people are stuck here for a very, very long time”. Additionally, with the legal procedure of migration in Europe painstakingly slow, there does not seem to be any respite for the refugees in the near future. So the community is also trying to prepare the refugees for a long haul by teaching them Greek. Moreover, the closing of the Macedonian border depicts a bleak picture.
People were also found taking self-defense weekly with every age group pitching in, not surprising with the firebombing of near shelter housing refugees.
– by Gulshan kumar Alok of NewsGram. Twitter: @Alokgulshan