Friday, March 11, 2016

Updates

Some updates to previous posts:

On Truth and Consequences--the post more people have read by far. Starfish, the organization that covered up the rape, has been banned from working inside Moria and all former Starfish volunteers banned as well. Starfish is continuing  to cover up the situation, spreading the story that their removal from Moria was the result of a normal rotation of NGOs by the Greek government. The victim is out of the country, considering her options and, last I heard, seeking therapy.

On The First Imad--I since learned that for refugees who have lost their money, or claimed to do so, the standard operating procedure is to wait three days and see what the people in question do. The logic behind that is that those who have resources will utilize them to move on, and those that truly don't will still be stuck. If they really are stuck, financial assistance will be offered through one of the groups that offer that kind of aid. Makes a certain amount of sense to me.

On The Second Imad--I was such a newbie then I didn't know who or what to ask. Turns out the DRC do have tents available that they hand out when necessary, or I could have tried to put them elsewhere, or I could have sent them to Better Days. The learning curve is steep here. I hate to think how many of us make mistakes out of ignorance. It's legion.

On The Pakistanis--I've since had explained to me that many of the Pakistanis really are economic migrants from the Punjab region. I'm not convinced, however, that their economic woes are not war related. And they're not all from Punjab as I'll write in my next post.

On An Iraqi Story--the young man in this story has become quite a star, being interviewed in a number of media outlets. He often claims in these stories that he is from Iran because, as he explained to me, where he wants to go (Norway if I recall correctly) Iranians are treated better than Iraqis. I tell him he may be hurting his chances of moving on, but it highlights the issue of refugees telling the interviewers (both media and government) what they think the interviewers want to hear. They are afraid. One of the most common scenarios with making up stories for the government interviewers is that of unaccompanied minors saying they are older because they think that will help them more. In fact the opposite is true. Anyway, for more about Ramiar--the young man in An Iraqi Story--check out this BBC video of him.

On Better Days Camping--I didn't join I Am You because I found out no former Starfish volunteers are allowed to work inside Moria, so have been at Better Days for the past couple of weeks. Since I live there, I mostly work on projects or make myself useful wherever and whenever needed instead of signing up for specific shifts. Camping is going ok. I definitely get a better understanding of the refugee experience--worrying about rain and wind, no shower available, no toilet paper in the port-a-potties (though I carry a roll with me most of the time), frustrating, terrible internet, the unending noise of living in a tent in close quarters with many others in the same situation, the almost constant chaos of a refugee camp...and some things that are more specific to my situation: staying up as late as I can so that I don't have to get up in the middle of the night to walk to the toilets, being able to wash my clothes in the taps as they do, but being reluctant to hang my underwear to dry in a camp mostly full of single men... but many thanks to a fellow volunteer who washed my clothes and let me use her shower. you rock!


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