20th May 2016
Maria Is The Queen of Hearts.
There were far more tears than I expected this morning as we left Camp Alexandros. Mum went to give a farewell hug to the Syrian family, their mother was already in tears and held mum, sobbing into her shoulder.
Afterwards as we drove away, mum was puzzled about the reaction and as we drove from the camp on the bumpy road they discussed the tears from the family as we had left.
Mum had realised that the Mother of the Syrian family unit was actually in charge there as it appeared the father was no longer with them, perhaps he had gone on ahead to find route for them.. Perhaps something else. Anyway, it was a huge responsibility for her to be in charge of the two children, Johad and Sedre on her own, and must have been something of an impossible struggle to have even got them this far.
With no view of what the future was going to hold for any of them, Narship ( the mother ) would probably have been glad of some female company for the few days we had been there too, ( the Iraqis were together with ladies and men in family groups.. Narship was a lone female, the rest of the individual Syrians were men ) and there was no questioning the happiness everybody had seen in the children as they slowly became familiar with Asena and Vodka, and had played with me on the beach. Geoff suggested that it would have been a long time since Narship had seen her children smile and laugh like they had been doing.
Mother and Geoff were affected by the families sorrowful reaction, that said Geoff cries at adverts on the tele’ so he’s generally a pushover anyway! It didn’t lighten the situation any, when we went to say our goodbyes to Maria. Her main camping season is about to start, the refugees knew when she took them in that they would have to be gone by the end of May. The people who first brought them to Maria’s camp, haven’t been seen since,Maria can’t contact them… and has raised no response from UNESCO, when she tries to discover any new plans. There is no indication as to what will happen to them when they have packed up to leave Camp Alexandros.
Because Maria is the Queen of Hearts she holds herself personally responsible for the refugees fate! But how can one women make all which is so very wrong, right? The schools start camping before the main season starts, on a kind of “Spring Break” next week, she had been concerned that the schools would worry that refugees were at the camp. Maria had tears in her eyes this morning as she told us that one of the schools had telephoned and the head master had insisted that the refugees sit down with the children who were camping at meal times each night.
Far flung goodness. As I said on another day, Greece is not rich but there are some people who will always share and help. The people here in Kavala are good people, dealing with troubles of their own and another people’s.
Mum left her e mail address with Johad, we hope he gets in touch. Fingers crossed for he and his sisters future. Geoff and Mum left some cash for the groups, for the Iraqi big family, the Syrian family and an Iraqi couple who had a twenty day old baby. There isn’t much else we could do. Maria promised she would keep us informed of what happens to them. I’ll let you know!