When I look at pictures of refugees on Lesbos, I see myself.
Hundred maximum. We hear that a lot today. In one example, unfortunately, it is not about the maximum number of people in a restaurant. Nor is it about the new maximum speed in the Netherlands. It concerns the number of refugees who are allowed to come to the Netherlands from Moria camp on Lesbos. Those who fled violence and wars from their country and arrived on Lesbos after a drowning journey thought they were at the gates of European bliss. But the beautiful island turns out to be a coffin for them. It is the worst place where refugees can live on Earth.
They have become prisoners of this island. They live in an open concentration camp where human dignity has been lost. When I look at the pictures I see myself. I was also on a Greek island, among hundreds of refugees. I see myself lying in a broken tent again, with all kinds of unknown people against me to keep each other warm. The tent cloths were full of holes and did not block snow, rain and hot sun. I got up very early every morning because the toilets had just been cleaned. I waited for the cleaning machine to finish and went in without throwing up from the smell. Then I went to the sea, where no one could see me. I swam naked to clean myself. Then I stayed on the beach shivering with cold until the sun came up to warm me up. I have terrible memories of it. It therefore really affects me when I realize that my time in the camp was even ‘luxurious’, compared to the situation now. I pray that the sun will continue to shine on the new camp in Lesbos. That there will soon be no more tents, and that there will be two zeros next to the 100.