Refugees In Greece Pour Out Emotional Messages After The Paris Attack

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After the Paris attack by Islamic State (IS), for many, the welfare of the many refugees who are fleeing the unrests in the Middle East and are desperately trying to gain safe access to Europe, has become a major concern.

As a result of the Paris attack, many in Europe feel less inclined to help the refugees; however, refugees arriving in Greece have condemned and disassociated themselves from the militants, and are urging Europe not to make them [refugees] victims of the situation.

The Vice News visited Lesvos, the Greek island that has seen the arrival of many refugees that are hoping to start a new life in Europe. The purpose of the visit, was to get comprehensive views from the refugees on how they think they will be received in Europe in the face of the heinous attack by IS.

When asked about their views, some refugees revealed they had not heard anything about the attack in Paris. “We’ve been traveling for three days and three nights, it’s been impossible to get any news from anywhere. What happened?”

However, in spite of their long journey, some of the refugees seemed to have been following the events in Paris. They expressed their views this way:

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Fatima is a lawyer by profession. She is a Palestinian. She traveled to the island from Lebanon. This is how she felt about the attack:

Naturally, after the attack on Paris, Arabs will face many problems because they’ll now say that all jihadists come illegally from Syria via Greece. But in fact, the terrorists may have been born in France or be from Turkey or any other country. Our children are the ones paying that price unfortunately. They are innocent, unarmed, and all we want is to bring them to a safe place where you can eat, play, and study.”

“All Arab countries face a horrible situation. There is no money, no electricity, no water. My daughter got sick in Lebanon because of the huge piles of uncollected trash. Our most basic human rights have been violated. We want to feel clean, externally and internally. Being a Muslim means staying away from terrorism. Islam speaks of harmony and cooperation—not bloodshed. Those attacks do not represent us but tarnish the image of all Muslims. We are proud people and we want to have rights. I am grateful to all countries that welcome us with a smile.”

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Ibraheem Almahamid was a medical student in Syria. The war forced him to finally abandon his home and seek out a new life. He said: “It is absolutely foolish to believe that the attack was carried out by Syrians against countries that now help us, such as France and Germany. These countries opened their doors to us. None of the Arab countries—like Lebanon, Jordan, or Saudi Arabia—told us to “come stay.” If the Islamic State carried out the attack, it is unfair to accuse us all. Who strengthened the Islamic State? All the major forces involved. And IS does not believe in any religion—it’s all politics. I understand there is now mistrust in Europe but we are not all the same. I want to continue my studies in medicine and become a cardiologist. If the war in Syria ends, I’ll be the first to return. Syria is my country—I love it. Nobody wants to leave, that’s why we waited five years before making the decision to move. My family lost our home, our money, everything. We walked down the street while bombs exploded. If we do not come to Europe, we will all die.”

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Ayat Khan is a graphic designer, and her husband, Umair Khan is an economist. They both came from Pakistan. Ayat said: “We both dream of just being able to do our jobs in a country where we feel safe. Germany already receives many Syrians and we thought we better not go there because we don’t want to be a burden. If France blames refugees for the attack, then surely we are in a very difficult position. But if people like us have no place to live in our countries and risk dying on our way out, then why carry out such an attack? Those who did this say they are Muslims—they are not. No religion teaches terrorism. We read about Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Judaism—none of them motivates you to kill. Our heart aches for those killed in Paris and we send our condolences. Whoever did this has wrongly ruined the relationship Europe has with refugees.”

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Javet is an unemployed teenager from Afghanistan. He said: “The situation in Afghanistan is very difficult because of IS. I could not go to school or get a job because it was too dangerous. I am very happy that I managed to get to Europe. I think the situation in France will be difficult now but I hope to go to Germany, where things are better for refugees. We all come to Europe to escape from terrorism and war. In Afghanistan, things are really bad for women and I do not like that. In Germany, I want to study, to work and to have a normal life—that’s what everyone wants.”

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Ismail Basha Anas is a marble craftsman from Syria. He spoke of how he has been forced to leave his home in search of safety.

“Bombs and death are everywhere in Syria. I do not want the same to happen in Europe or in any other country. I do not want trouble and war, only to live in peace. I seek a better life. I want to work. America, Europe, and Russia should help stop the war in Syria. I’m scared about how people will treat us from now on in Europe but people should also be able to distinguish between those who want to harm them and those who don’t. My religion forbids me to kill people. All I want is to work,” he said.


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15 COMMENTS

  1. Saudi Arabia has enough housing for several thousand refugees. Why don’t you go there? Sharia law is already in place you would not have to change the county that much to fit your needs.

    • ” None of the Arab countries—like Lebanon, Jordan, or Saudi Arabia—told us to “come stay.” ”
      — Literally quoted from Ibraheem Almahamid’s words, so uhm.

    • Saudi Arabia is not taking refugees in. These European countries are. Why can’t they change the way the country is to suit them? Everyone else does. Is it going to harm you in anyway if these Sharia Laws are bought in? Anyone can go and try to bring in a law. Hell, I’m sure laws are passed every week that you know nothing about (mainly because THEY DON’T AFFECT YOU) but as soon as you step outside of the ‘white, christian and male’ criteria, you’ve got a problem?

      • I agree with you on a lot of your points, but seriously, no one needs Sharia law. You should educate yourself on what that actually is. All of the evil things you’ve heard about in Islamic nations are based in Sharia law. You’re talking about new laws like, you can’t rape your wife. Sharia law is more like, you can stone your daughter to death because she was raped. These things are not at all the same.

  2. I totally get that they do not condone Daesh and do not assume that every Muslim is a ‘terrorist’; far from it. I wish they’d stop calling them IS and thus giving them legitimacy they do not have, and saying that nothing in Islam leads to approval of violence, for, as in all angry Bronze/Iron Age senile monotheistic patriarchal cults, there are many passages that do just that. I do not wish them harm and hope they can find a place that is safe, as surely we all are allowed that. But keeping on saying ‘Islam is a religion of peace’ when none of those religions are is not helpful. We really need to be human beings first and religionists second (or even last, or not at all.)

  3. i personally dont believe a word these “refugees” are saying. i think they would say anything just to be able to illegally enter europe. their scope to why they truly want to enter europe remains “a mystery of babylon”. i dont trust them.

    • I can be cynical myself.
      When an alcoholic asks for money to stay at a shelter, yet smells of today’s addiction, it makes emotions well.
      That does not change the fact that this drunk man doesn’t deserve to freeze to death tonight.
      It isn’t about trust. That is a projection.
      You mention “quoted word that does not represent the needs of an individual”.
      That is a reflection of yourself.
      You can choose to be human and humane.
      You can choose to reflect what you are inside.
      It is up to individuals to reflect and project what they truly are.
      It still doesn’t mean that anyone deserves to be in danger as they sleep tonight.

  4. Ofcourse not all of them are IS folks. But what if one out of ten is or even one out of a hundred should we not take precautions? We cant allow them in sorry. We can make a safe heaven in syria for them to go to but not in Europe.

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