This is the story of how one refugee made it across the Mediterranean Sea. He spent more than 10 month in the Moria refugee camp on Lesbos. His asylum request has been recently accepted and he has been moved to a camp in Thessalonica. He is now waiting to receive ID documents to be able to leave Greece. He does not know where he will go or whether his wife and two boys can join him. He hasn’t seen his family since August 2016. This is Samy’s story.
My name is Samy. I negotiated with middlemen who make the connection to get people through.
I paid 500 euros. The first few days, we were taken in trucks. We were let in, we were locked up. There were about fifty of us. We were taken to the small savannah there. We were hidden there, we are told there was police. We could not cross. We stayed there for days. It was not prepared, there was not even food to eat even water.
We were arrested, taken to Izmir Jail and stayed there for 10 days. It was another reality. I have never been in prison in my country or been up a judge.
No matter how many times you try … the same thing happens.
You enter trucks and sometimes even soldiers chased us, firing bullets, I do not know if (they were) plastic because they were making sounds.
They stopped us, the same thing happened, I did another eight days in the same jail. In total I spent 38 days in prison.
The very same day that I was let out of prison, that evening, the smuggler called me, he said to me can you try again?
I had more choices, I tried. It was so cold that my feet froze, my hands … everything. We slept under the trees. Then we saw people coming back, they said, can try during the day?
We went down to the water, they inflated boat they put the engine and then we told you: off you go.
I do not know how far we travelled but we did at least an hour and five minutes on the water. There were children, we were at least 49 people.
We crossed and arrived in Greece. Then we saw people who came to help us, give us clothes, because we were wet, shoes, biscuits and water.
We didn’t know what we were exposed to and how it could be a matter of life and death.
I didn’t know that I could live this. Today is an experience.
I say there are people who live lives that are not normal. That’s what I lived.