All the places we have visited so far have been quite humane and impressive to us, in terms of the compassionate staff and the conditions. We have heard that the government camps are less inviting, especially the ones on the islands. Since February, we have been seeking permission to visit a camp and now, at the end of our trip, we are being allowed inside Eleona camp in an industrial neighborhood of Athens. Our permission was only granted at the last minute, so just to be safe, we visited Skaramagkas (pronounced Skaramangas, with the accent on the last syllable.) It is located in a naval base outside Athens, near the port of Piraeus.
We knew that we wouldn’t be allowed in the camp, but went planning to talk with residents as they entered or left the camp and we found three willing to talk with us. Here’s a little on Danesh, a Kurd from northern Iraq.
Danesh made the trip with his wife and children and is quite the entrepreneur. Unsatisfied with the food in the camp, he set up his own restaurant inside the camp, offering a wide variety of middle eastern food. The camp has a five star review and shows up on Google Maps!
Here are some photos of Danesh and his children and the flag he is holding is the flag of Kurdistan, which I believe was made in the camp, as the flag normally has a sun with rays, his version has a circle.
Danesh has applied for relocation, has been interviewed and accepted and is waiting for his tickets. When applying for relocation, refugees are asked for their first choice (which is in no way guaranteed, they must accept any country they are accepted by.) The authorities must have been surprised when he chose Estonia (which has accepted him and his family.) He explains his reasoning here.
Danesh from Bill Megalos on Vimeo.