Migrants in Greek Lesbos undergo uncertain conditions while awaiting asylum


Since a fire ravaged the Moria refugee camp on the Greek island of Lesbos in September last year, the transfer of refugees to the European continent has been accelerated. But the approximately 7,000 people still on Lesbos are leaving months to wait for their asylum applications to be examined.

In the reception center for migrants and refugees on Lesbos, the days are long and painful.

This painting tells the story of refugees like us. Of how we looked for a better future, and fear of drowning, of how NGOs have helped us. And we hope that one day we will be able to fly from here, says Shukran Shirzad, a painter from Afghanistan.

Six months ago, he and his wife, Lida, were still living in the Moria camp. Now they live in a former Greek training camp.

“It’s not much better here, there is no doctor. Those who are there only give us paracetamol, Shirzad said.

Lida Shirzad added that she had different expectations when she came to Europe. “I did not imagine Europe like this. I thought it was about security and education. I was a teacher in Kabul and I am very sad to see children here playing with rubbish and doing nothing else. ”

Greece has promised to build a new reception center on the other side of the island, but in the face of protests from locals, the project is delayed. And health measures imposed due to the Covid-19 pandemic have not improved the situation.

Click on the video player above to see the full report by Alexia Kefalas and Sudha Iliades.