Dimitri Lascaris interviews a Palestinian refugee who shared his experience of fleeing from Syria into Turkey and living in the Moria refugee camp
DIMITRI LASCARIS, TRNN: This is Dimitri Lascaris for the Real News reporting from Lesvos, Greece, at the conclusion of the Crossing Borders conference on the refugee crisis. I’m here today with a young man by the name of Barcel, who is a Palestinian refugee from Syria. Thanks for joining us. So where was it that you lived in Syria just before you left the country? BARCEL: Before I left my country? LASCARIS: Before you left Syria, where were you living? BARCEL: I was living in [Deraa] city. That’s near Jordan. LASCARIS: That’s a refugee camp for Palestinians? BARCEL: Yes. I was in the, in the Deraa, in the Palestinian camp in Deraa. Palestinian refugee camp in Deraa. And I out from the camp, about two years ago, because I had [bombs] in my house, and they’re so dangerous. LASCARIS: Were you or any other members, any members of your family injured in the bombings? BARCEL: I had a piece of bomb here in my neck– LASCARIS: Shrapnel. BARCEL: –and in my back, yes. And my brother have also in here, leg. Two of here, legs. And in the hospital they said, the doctor said that we should cut here, leg, or here, leg, because if we don’t cut here leg he will have problems in the future. I told him no. I took him to many hospitals. Other than that no, we are okay. He can run, he can walk. But that’s so dangerous, because in Syria, about the war, every day bombs and they shoot guns, and you can’t sleep. If you sleep you’re afraid from the bombs to come to you. LASCARIS: And so as a result of this bombing you left the country, or decided to leave the country? BARCEL: Yes. LASCARIS: And how did you leave the country? BARCEL: I left the country, I traveled from my country to south, to Turkey. LASCARIS: You went into Turkey? BARCEL: I went to Turkey, yes. LASCARIS: What happened when you tried to cross into Turkey? BARCEL: I tried to enter to Turkey some night about four months ago. And when I tried to enter the Turkish police catch me, and they hit me, and the the ground, I stood three hours on the ground they had me. And they [pushed] me back to Syria. And about two days, two days more I try a second time, and they see me and for me, they can’t catch me because I was, I was run, and they’re like, walk, and they can’t catch me. And I’m still in Turkey about seven days with this, and then that I come to here. LASCARIS: And so how did you arrive in Lesvos from Turkey? BARCEL: By boat. It was 73 in the boat, 73 persons. In the boat, like [inaud.]. And when it was in the sea, the Turkish police saw us and followed us on the water, and they tried to destroy the boat. Because they don’t want us to go to Greece. No Europe, no Europe. Here Turkey they said, like that. LASCARIS: How did they try to destroy the boat? BARCEL: They tried to put something to destroy the motor, or they tried one time to make, bomb the boat. But they say the [kids], they don’t do that. LASCARIS: There were children in the boat? BARCEL: Yes, many children. About 25 children. Yes, and they try many times to destroy the motor. And we catch these things, they [inaud.] about three of this. And then that one, when we enter the [three-quarter] they’re back. But they was very angry. They say for us, we will kill you if we catch you. Yes, and then that, the guys on the boat call help, [inaud.] to come. They told UN and the police, and the police come to take us, Greek police come to take us. Because we was [die], because water start enter to the boat. LASCARIS: And where did you go as soon as you arrived here in Lesvos? Where did they take you? BARCEL: What? LASCARIS: Where did they take you? Did they take you to a camp? Do they take you to a processing center? Where did you go? BARCEL: Yes, they give me a blanket and they take me by the bus to Moria camp. I’m still in Moria camp about two months and more, and about 20 days ago I come to house, live in the house. LASCARIS: What were conditions like in the Moria camp? BARCEL: In Moria you feel like jail, because the first month we can’t out from Moria. [Inaud.] in Moria. If you want to out you’re out from back way, we have a back way, if nobody saw us they would catch us and put us in the jail. We just out to buy some things, because all things inside there, was guys there buy, sell things inside. [Also] so expensive. LASCARIS: And when you were staying in Moria, did you have a bed? Did you share a room with others? How many people? BARCEL: No, I was live in tent. A big tent. LASCARIS: Inside a building? Or outside in the open air? BARCEL: No, outside. Outside we live in the tent, sleep on the ground. When I come to there I had just two blankets on, and [inaud.] just that. Then that, I come to here, to Greece, just with my clothes. With my clothes and my [ideas], my phone. LASCARIS: Are you here now with any members of your family? BARCEL: No, all of my family in Syria stayed in Syria, yes. LASCARIS: And do you want to stay in Greece? Or are you looking to go to another country? BARCEL: I have study in Greece, or anywhere. I will stay in this country. LASCARIS: Well, thank you very much for joining us, Bacel. BARCEL: Thank you. LASCARIS: This is Dimitri Lascaris for the Real News.
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