Photo by Migratory Birds Team

Living in a camp day by day

Sometimes I feel that there is no end for our pain and sorrows. I can’t breathe well and I feel a huge heaviness in my heart. I don’t know where to start from and how to explain our daily life here in the Schisto refugee camp. Sometimes the days go by very slowly and look endless. 

Our first problem here is food. Food is unhealthy and tastes less. There is no variety of food and everybody looks malnourished and weak. We protested a few times and every time they promised us to bring some change in the food but nothing has happened until now.

We are refugees and we know it, but we are also humans. We had our lives organized, but because of war, bleeding and violence we were forced to leave our homes. We escaped from discrimination and insecurity. Nowadays, we live in tents, that we call them home. We don’t feel peace and safety in our new homes. It is so cold in winter and so hot in summer. We passed summer with hardships and difficulties. We used to run away and find shelter under the trees around the camp. It was not comfortable though. It was so dusty and mosquitos were biting us, day and night. 

I don’t know if you have ever been in a tent, under the +42 degrees or not but if you want to understand us better, you should try it once. 

What should I say about the rats? The rats are so annoying and frustrating. We have to chase them all the time. We cannot store anything inside our tent because of them. 

When the winter gets closer, we get scared. We are afraid of raining the whole day, we are afraid of something we used to enjoy.  Like rain, wind, and thunderbolts. We are afraid of rain because we know that when it rains, the water flows into our tent, all of our things get wet and we will have to sleep in a wet ground and the next day everybody will feel pain in their legs, back, and generally in their whole body. There is no medicine available for these pains. Whenever someone complains that they are in pain, the doctors’ advice is “drink more water”, regardless of the pain. 

If somebody gets really sick and needs to get to the hospital, he would need to tolerate his pain for a couple of hours, since the hospital is far away from here and the ambulances are busy all the time. 

We have no amusement over here. No TV, no radio and no books to read. There is Wi-Fi internet at the camp but you have to be in a specific place at the middle of the camp to be able to use it. Also, you have to stay in an open area to use Wi-Fi, no matter if it is cold or hot or if it’s raining. 

We have to go to bed very early, because there is no electricity and when the dark falls, we cannot do anything except laying down and thinking about all our miseries.  Many questions come to my mind when I go to bed, early at night. When we would get released from this unknown darkness? How would our future be? When we would go back to a normal life? And many other questions that seem unanswered. 

Αnother major problem we face is communication. Nobody among refugees speaks English or Greek. We don’t have permanent language courses here. If we had a language course continually in the last 9 months, everyone would speak English or Greek by now. 

I feel so sorry for the children in the camp. Most of them look sad, stressful and sick. They have been away from a real home and school for a long time. They don’t know about their tomorrow and their future. 

I don’t feel like a human being these days. Sometimes I feel that I need to be alone, only by myself, to think about my life, my unclear future, to cry for all that has happened to our lives, but there is no such space for me. 

Let’s talk about the suffering of separation and being far from your family members. Separation between parents and children, brothers and sisters.  I can see children longing for their mothers, mothers crying for their kids and everyone dreaming of a day that they would reunite again. We are disappointed and sad; sorrows and hopelessness have surrounded us. Life looks worthless and empty for us. Other countries cannot or don’t want to understand us. I wish there was a peaceful land where we could go freely and escape from all wars, discrimination and violence forever.  

I wish that one day these horror days will come to an end and that we will finally find what we were looking for when we left our homes. 

Photo by Migratory Birds Team

Fatime Sedaghat

 Zohreh Ghasemi