May 21, 2014 olof Jarlbro

Syrian Seeking refuge Bulgaria

More than 6,000 Syrian refugees have crossed the border between Syria and Turkey trough the rough terrain to arrive in Bulgaria. Almost everyone has paid to traffickers to withstand the journey, but after months in the various camps and a long time in limbo most of them regret their decision. Bulgaria is EU’s poorest country has had it difficult to cope with the most necessary prerequisites for a refugee camp such as food, shelter and working sanitary toilets. Already at the border where families and small groups wandering in the dense Bulgarian forest is the welcoming to Europe hard because they are imprisoned and thrown behind bars. After a few days in jail visits them a so-called lawyer with the proposal that either pay him a sum of 300 € and he will fix the right documents to the open camps in Sofia, or they go to the closed camp in Harmanli and wait at least 3-6 months until the documents will arrive for the open camps in Sofia. The choice is simple for those who money have and in some cases they can barging down the price to 150-200 €. Once they get to the overcrowded accommodation in Sofia, which is in the former Soviet buildings, the first impression is moldy walls and decay. Even the posters from Bulgaria’s communist era lying around in corners here and there. For the newly arrived, however, it’s only to pack up and crowd together in rooms with up to 40 people. Many families put up white sheets to be able to separate his family from the family next to him. But you can hear the slightest whisper through sheets. The plumbing in these buildings do not always work and the toilets from the upper floors leaking feces all the way down to the basement. This problem is partially solved, but you cannot exactly call the toilets sanitary. After 6 months in Bulgaria have the fortunate had their documents and passports. Many have thought to leave Bulgaria and maybe go to Germany, France, or even to Scandinavia, but those plans ends suddenly when their returned to Bulgaria after the so-called Dublin Agreement. With high unemployment among Bulgarians and low pay even for those who have a job it looks bleak, yes so lousy that some Syrian have crossed the border again to get back to the war-torn Syria. Yes, a lot has happened in the recent months and money has arrived to Bulgaria, from both EU and non-governmental organizations. This money has unfortunately meant that it is brand new cars outside the refugee camps and how much of those donated money that actually goes to the refugees to make their situation better, time will tell.   From a photographer’s point of view the sun’s reflections in the paint from the German premium cars parked outside the camps stings in the eyes. 

 

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