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Posts Tagged ‘safe passage’

Sea of Human Misery

In Refugee Crisis on April 4, 2016 at 21:34

This is the long version of the blog I wrote of my experience covering the refugee crisis on the island of Lesvos over the summer of 2015.  The shortened version appeared on Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Filmmaker Sharron Ward writes about her personal encounters filming the hundreds of refugees who washed ashore bereft and broken on the Greek island of Lesvos during the summer.

I first heard about refugees washing up on the shores of Lesvos from friends on Facebook way back in January. They told me that while on holiday in the south of the island, they had woken in the middle of the night to find a soaking wet Syrian family with a new born baby on their balcony.  They had nearly drowned at sea as their flimsy boat had capsized.  A large focus of my work has been documenting the plight of Syrian refugees across the Middle East, but nothing prepared me for filming the desperate mass exodus that washed ashore on Lesvos this summer.

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Refugees arrive on an inflatable dinghy from Turkey. © Sharron Ward

On the first day I found myself in the village carpark of Molyvos, which was being used as a makeshift transit camp providing a brief respite for the hundreds of mainly Syrians, Afghans and Iraqis who had endured the perilous journey across the sea from Turkey in flimsy inflatable dinghies.  They arrived to find themselves on an ill-equipped Greek island that had little or no infrastructure for the thousands of lost souls who had washed up on its shores.

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Refugees in a makeshift transit camp fall asleep from exhaustion having just arrived on the island of Lesvos in a rubber dinghy from Turkey. © Sharron Ward

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