A random encounter with flesh and blood migrants in Athens


After  visiting the Areios Pagos, I dropped into a  cafe for an espresso and a think, and found myself sitting beside a man from Syria who was living in emergency accommodation close by.

The Albanian waitress told me two hundred and eighty migrants are living in a former school building.

I went to have a look, though simply looking at people who are suffering or taking pictures of them has always seemed voyeuristic to me. People are not objects like other objects in this world. They are subjects, who feel and think. The aim should be to help them, not take pictures, right?  But since fate placed me beside the emergency accommodation, I went and took out my (pretty useless) smartphone.

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I walked up the steep and narrow  road. (Athens is very hilly). The yellow car in the picture is a taxi at the corner of Askipiliou and Merlie Oktaviou.

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Opposite the old school, some boys were playing in the drive way of a church, which is set in a pleasant green space. Next, a football hurtled past me. A boy of about seven gave chase, and almost ran straight in front of car, which screeched to a halt. When he had rescued his football, the boy apologized to the driver. A born diplomat! 

Anyway, the scene made me realize the many dangers small children especially are exposed to when they are in an environment unfamiliar to them.

On the steps of the school, a group of young men were sitting and listening to the guitar.

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None of them spoke English, so I could not communicate. They were models of consideration and manners. Every time someone wanted to go into or come out of the school with a Spartan hall with a big central staircase, they immediately broke up their circle to make a path.

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A family with four young children came out. The parents spoke some English. They said they came from Syria and had been in the school for ten days. They said they had reasonably good food, but had to sleep in a room with two other families, and that conditions were very hard.

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They didn’t know what to expect in the future, they said.

I didn’t have the opportunity to ask lots of questions because they had to find a toilet for their children.

It was very, very sad.

But the misery of the local people, homeless or begging on the streets of Athens, is also sad. The degradation of students in Athens forced to prostitute themselves for two euros to have something to eat or to emigrate is also sad. The cases of young children apparently damaged by vaccines is also sad.

We need Solon’s reforms, sovereign money, and an end to the NATO wars in the Middle East.

We need to deal with the Rothschild, Rockefeller private central bank crime syndicate. Note, these families and other key families like the Windsors and Habsburgs did not appear in the Panama Papers. Missing too were figures like George Bush, even though Panama is virtually a US colony and a vast tax haven…

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