Αγγλικά 2020-2021

https://schoolpress.sch.gr/27gelmag/files/2021/01/Refugee-Stories.pdfRefugee Stories

Writing assignment. The students of B1 and B3 classes make up stories about refugees based on a photograph or write the stories of their migrant families.


How can you go to bed when you know there is nothing worth waking up to?                                          ΓΙΑΝΝΟΠΟΥΛΟΥ ΑΙΚΑΤΕΡΙΝΗ, B1

His eyes were burning from fatigue as he was suffering from lack of sleep. Ever since he was placed in the refugee camp, he could only manage to sleep for a few hours at night. In addition to the worries that plagued his mind and the fear he felt for his future, he was tormented by the unbearable hunger he felt, and the cold wind that entered his makeshift room, from which he could not protect himself. He always woke up with cold limbs, his stomach churning loudly and tears in his eyes, as every night he’d dream of returning to his country and reuniting with his parents and family.

The young man, having nothing to do all day, spent many hours in his sleeping bag thinking about the old days. Before his life was threatened by war, before he left everything behind and got on the dinghy to reach safety and protection from all hardships. He did not belong to a mass then, he was not one of the thousands of refugees who weren’t treated as separate individuals. He was a person in his homeland, he was 18-year-old Asim, with dreams and plans for his education and his future.

Now Asim’s only dream was to be offered a meal that wasn’t stale bread and cold canned food. When he got up at noon for lunch, roaming around the camp, he realized that there were never going to be better conditions while he was detained there. Asim saw impoverished families, orphans, parents who had lost their children, all miserable and without hope. There was no life in the camp, no joy or a ray of light in all the darkness. Sometimes he got angry with the government of his new country of residence, he got angry with the people of the island, with the people in charge of the camp. The ones who were supposed to improve their living conditions, help them adapt and stop their suffering, separated them from the rest of society instead, put them like animals in a fenced area without allowing them to leave. And as if that was not enough, many people did not want the residents of the camp on their island, in their country. They wanted refugees gone, thrown at the sea, taken back to their country – even if there was no place for them there anymore -, they did not value their life whatsoever.

Asim, arriving at the food distribution point, saw the long line of people and decided to return later, after a short walk. Thinking all the above thoughts he started walking next to the fences, observing the trees outside the fence, the birds sitting on the tree branches, and the houses that could be seen from afar. Suddenly he froze.

At a distance of 40 meters, there was a sign leaning against a tree, a sign with large red letters that made his heart stop beating for a second. The sign read «We are all immigrants», and even if it did not refer directly to him and his fellow people in the camp – they were refugees, not immigrants – it filled him with hope. The only things he had known since the day he set foot on the shores of the island were discrimination and hatred. Now, instead of being deemed as a “subhuman”, Asim felt like he was accepted as a real person. This was a message of acceptance and solidarity. There were people on the island who accepted foreigners, immigrants, and refugees, people who represented unity and solidarity.

He stared at the sign for a long time. When Asim returned to pick up his food, his heart was pounding. How could such a small thing make such a big difference? A smile formed on his face, and Asim exhaled. Maybe there was hope for better days.

 We are all the same.

                                            ΓΙΑΟΥΠΗ ΓΚΑΜΠΡΙΕΛΑ, B1

Being an investigating team that goes to every camp near the neighborhood of Yida, South Soudan, our mission was to record the harsh conditions refugees live in and how do they manage to survive in poverty and fear about the future. When we approached the refugee camp we saw two kids hugging each other. That made us want to ask these kids about where their family is and with whom they are staying.

At first, the elder boy seemed frightened but when we approached him and asked him if he would like to interview him, he said yes and we started with the questions. He introduced himself, told us about his favorite things, and about his little sister Hadia, a 6-year-old girl that faced a lot of dangers from a small age. When we started asking about the rest of his family and how they came from Zimbabwe to Yida, South Africa. He didn’t know what to answer but then he confided us that he was smuggled with his family but they didn’t make it because they were caught by the police and now they’re in trouble. He seemed in real pain and didn’t know what to do with his little sister. He says »I am a child I don’t know how to take responsibilities and take good care of my sister».

We asked him to guide us in the camp, show us where he sleeps and what the conditions are like. The first camp that we visited was full of newborns that were born in the camp with the help of doctors who volunteered. The rest of them were full of sick people with infectious diseases, lots of them were suffering from asthma, covid-19, and hepatitis b, etc. From the outside, we could see the army and the wire railings that were not allowing people to trespass.

From this whole experience as a team, we would like to help all these people that are in need, open the borders, welcome them in our countries and let them contribute to our society. OPEN THE BORDERS, GIVE THEM AN ASYLUM AND HELP THEM WE’RE ALL THE SAME!

 Strained souls.

                                          ΚΟΝΤΟΥ ΚΩΝΣΤΑΝΤΙΝΑ, B1

As a young and well educated journalist, I had everything I have ever wanted. I had a happy life, an occupation with good salary and many opportunities along with a bright future that lied ahead of me. As an optimist I always looked at the bright side since I thought there was always one in every situation. But one day everything changed.

My whole perspective of the world changed as I saw them near the border. Immigrants. I watched as they were begging for food and water, as their bodies had given up from fatigue, it was like their souls were strained from their bodies. I felt sick to my stomach. Never before had I seen something like this and I had to admit it is an awful image. Parents giving their last drop of water to their children and the last slice of bread, crying, not because they knew they were going to starve, but because they had nothing left to give to them later. »Hopeless», I murmured to myself as I was still in shock.

These people had to give up their lives forever. That was the moment that I knew, these people would not be living anymore, their only objective from now on would be to survive.

 It’s only the beginning!

                                                                      ΠΡΕΚΑ ΕΛΕΝΑ, Β3

  My family has always had economic problems and rarely could we make ends meet. As a family of six people we knew we had no choice but to immigrate so we could live better. Now my parents both work and they’re actually being paid well enough so all of us can live without stress. However in the beginning, we were outsiders and they always mocked us for not speaking the language. My younger brothers and sister took it more to heart and they didn’t even want to go to school. I  had spoken to the teachers but they said we should have patience or that with time everything would improve. It had been three months and everything  was getting worse so I decided to take matters to my own hands. One day, when the sun set, I sneaked into school with a spray paint and I wrote on every wall I could find only one phrase.


I couldn’t be happier with the result. My classmates talked to me, my brothers and sister found peace and everything became quiet.  However it’s only the beginning before more migrants stand up for themselves, as they should!


Staring with an empty gaze

                                             ΠΕΤΡΑΚΟΣ ΣΤΥΛΙΑΝΟΣ, B3

It wasn’t the first time he stood like that, behind a fence, staring with that empty gaze at the world outside, this world that clearly wasn’t meant for him…  In fact he had been in that situation way too many times over the past couple of years, but perhaps, this one would be the last…

He stared deep in the horizon –nothing to see over a wide area since the detention center was far from any local settlement ‘cause, of course, nobody wants the «filthy» refugees near them – and let himself get lost in his ruminations. He thought of his entire life and how he ended up here…

From his traumatic childhood and adolescence with his dysfunctional family, to his young adult years where he relentlessly fought against all odds and managed to get out of there and pursue higher education. He graduated and managed to get a job as a civil servant, all by himself. He later met his wife and had two amazing children. He had managed to rebuild himself and feel content for the first time in his life, but destiny had different plans…

Only two years after the birth of his second child the coup happened and the junta wreaked havoc in all the surrounding countries. As a civil servant and firm supporter of the previous regime he knew the risk of persecution for him and his family was too great. They had to join the fleeing refugee movement to Europe and so they did.

It was when they reached the Aegean where the beginning of the end was for him.The family was forced to split up due to the ridiculous amount of money the smuggler required to transfer each passenger. Their savings where barely enough for three people, so they decided, the mother and the two kids would go with the dinghies, while the man would travel by land, together with everyone else who didn’t have enough money. Eventually he reached the border and was placed in a detention camp for the first time and despite all the hardships, he still had a glimpse of hope. He still believed that maybe he could reunite with his family and somehow manage to rebuild their life… How foolish he was to think that was even possible, he thought…

Three weeks in his stay at the camp and life was about to give this man the final blow.  It was a Monday morning when a worker came to him to inform him of his family’s death; they had drowned amidst the Aegean and their bodies were found at the coast a couple of days ago… He was devastated. Everything he had managed to build all these years crumbled right before his eyes in a few months. He stayed in his tent for almost a week, mourning, barely drinking enough water to keep himself alive, When he finally got out he was always distant, taking long walks around the camp, staring with that empty gaze at the world beyond the fence for hours. A world which seemed like it just wasn’t for him…

His mental state kept declining in the following months. About half a year later they transferred him to another camp where, for a while, he got a little better. He started talking with some other refugees that were from near the same area as him. But that didn’t last for long. His sorrow soon consumed him again, though he still managed to somehow hold onto life… Another year passed at the new camp and he reached his lowest point. If he didn’t get out of there soon he was certain he was going to lose his mind. And he actually got out, but only to be moved a second time… And now here he was, first day at yet another camp, another one of what now seemed more like a prison, sold to them as safety…

His thoughts were suddenly disturbed by the flash of a camera. He glared at the reporter who just took the photo, but his gaze could barely hide the emptiness that lied beneath the surface. He looked at the horizon again and sighed… At that moment he made a decision; he would not tolerate this anymore…   So later that same day he left that world… and maybe somewhere in the afterlife, he found a better one…


The story of Sadat

                                                   ΣΟΥΛΗ ΜΙΡΙΕΛΑ, Β3

Sadat lived in a city in northern Afghanistan and the area was often under bombardments. His parents and younger siblings were not surprised when they learnt about Sadat’s plan to flee the country. They agreed and Sadat planned how to get away on his own. He was only 17 years old. There were two options: the route via Turkey or via Russia. He had to use the help from professional traffickers. The flight  route went via Russia and Ukraine and he arrived in Austria after two months. From there he came to Hamburg. But he was still a minor, which meant that he was put under special protection, living in a supervised situation especially for underage refugees. He was taken under guardianship. Now it was up to him to shape his future. He started school in Germany and after 18 months he took his exam for the middle school degree, and was successful. After that, he had the option to proceed with school and take the highest exam in order to go to university or start a vocational training. He opted for school and this is what he is doing nowadays. For some time now he started to work as a freelance counsellor in refugees” camps, translating, giving advice and helping others who have newly arrived from Afghanistan to find their way.

Hoping for a better life

                                            ΣΤΕΦΑΝΟΥ ΠΑΝΑΓΙΩΤΗΣ,B3

Sazeb and Eman, a ten year-old boy and a six year-old girl from Syria, have been transferred to Greece with their parents in order to have better living conditions since in their country the situation is tragic due to war. Attacks, bombardments, danger, hunger, fear, death have made their lives miserable.

 Leaving their country, their home, their habits was a very difficult decision for their parents to make but the only thing they thought was their children’s lives. Without taking any of their personal belongings, only with the clothes they were wearing and paying a lot of money to people who helped them cross their borders at first and put them on a dinghy. Then, they came in to Greece hoping to have a chance for a better life.

            Since then, they have been living in a centre of refugees together with many other people sharing with them a lot of problems. They have a place to live, they have something to eat, they have one another but they suffer many difficulties and live in poverty. They all dream things will get better for them so as to have a job to do, a better education for their children and a house of their own in order to live in dignity.


 Family stories

The refugee story of my aunt

                                                              ΚΑΣΣΕΜ ΜΠΑΝΤΙΑ, Β1

The refugee life has never been easy for my 25-year-old aunt, who has been raising two children alone since her husband was lost a few years after the war in Syria. She says that in Turkey, jobs were scarce and rents were high. My aunt had decided to go to Turkey to find a better future for her children and to be protected and then to come to Athens to stay here, but unfortunately everything were was difficult without her husband. But returning home has brought new challenges. My aunt used to tell me : “ The destruction is indescribable , and at first I could not know my city again . ” Her two-storey home was reduced to rubble and although her family hosted her, there were no windows or doors in their rooms. She added, “There was no water or electricity. She felt like she was in the stone age but slowly, who knows, things might improve.

My family’s origin    

                                                          ΛΑΜΕ ΕΝΤΖΙ, B1

My parents are from Albania , they were born there although they now live in Greece. My mom was raised in Albania.She went school there but when she finished high school her parents decided to move to Greece in order to find better jobs and a better quality of life. In her 19s she came to Greece and a found a job. It was a big change for her and the other members of the family because they did not know Greek , they did not know the country and they were alone . My dad was also  raised in Albania. He finished there a professional high school. He decided to move to Greece alone in order to find a better life for him. It was really difficult for him due to the fact that he was all alone in a foreign country and also he could not find a job easily. Although , people were very helpful and welcoming. Some years later, he made many friends and he found a good job for him.

My parents’ story 

                              ΓΙΟΥΣΕΦ ΧΕΛΑ ΣΤΑΥΡΟΥΛΑ , Β1   

Today I will tell you about the story, that is, how I chose to be in Greece while my country is Egypt.  What I want to tell you first is that I and my siblings were born in Greece so we did no face many difficulties as my father and mother.                                    

   Before emigrating to Greece my parents got married in my country Egypt, and then my father came to Greece alone to find a house. In the beginning, it was very difficult. My father slept on the street and worked from morning till night.  My father’s uncle taught him to speak Greek and helped him financially, and when he found a house he brought my mother to Greece. But they both worked to make ends meet and then they brought us in life.


My family story 

                                                   ΣΑΡΙΔΗ ΜΕΛΙΝΑ, Β3

A lot of people live somewhere but they come from different places around the world. For example, my parents. My mother is Greek and she lived in a village when she was younger but when she got to college she came to Athens. On the other hand, my father was born in Istanbul, Turkey. His father was Greek and his mother Turkish. They lived there until he was ten years old and then they came back to Greece. His dad did not want my father and my uncle to go to the Turkish military- if I remember right. So they picked up their things and they came to Athens, to live with my aunt. They were actually living very close to where we live now- what a coincidence. After that they moved a lot and a main problem was that the other children were bullying my father because he was older than the other kids at school and because he was not born in Greece. Finally, unexpectedly he met my mother and had two children. So what are your family’s origins?

My family story

                                ΣΤΑΜΟΠΟΥΛΟΣ ΕΠΑΜΕΙΝΩΝΔΑΣ, Β3

It all started when my grandma and my grandpa met around 1965. They got married and in 1971 my mom was born in Toronto of Canada. My dad was born in 1972 in Crete. My mom was raised in Canada until her 15th birthday when they moved to Greece. My father lived his entire life in Athens. His mom and dad broke up and his dad moved to another city while his mom stayed in Athens. My parents went to the same high school. My dad was working at the time so did my mom. They met after college when my dad had just finished his time in the army. Years later they decided to get married after 8 years of being together in 2003. I was born a year later and I was baptized in 2005 in Loutraki where my grandparents have a house. Since then every summer I go on a 2 week vacation there.