Abiha, a Muslim Syrian woman with a young daughter, is travelling with the aim of joining her husband in Germany. Her family left Syria after her younger brother was shot, and her father injured, during the war.
"The people who came before us, a day before us, they would go in and immediately get their khartiyat [papers]. Not for us. We came to submit our papers and it had stopped. What could we do? We waited. They put us in a camp camp [i.e. a real camp] with a metal door. They put us in and they closed the metal door. There were electric outlets to charge our phones but there wasn’t any electricity. We were without electricity for seven days. (...) We said, “we want to talk to our families.” They give us our food under the door. The children got sick. It was the Greek police. The Greek police imprisoned us."
"For seven days there was no electricity. I said I was going to find the room of the police. I broke the glass door and I entered and took an extension cord and extended it and brought electricity to the people (laughs). I needed to charge my phone. My family hadn’t heard from me in three days. They didn’t know if I was dead or alive. It was mother’s day at that time, on the 20th, I was crying and saying I want to talk to my mother. But all of our phones were dead. I went in. I broke the glass and I extended the cord. People came and they asked “who broke the glass and who extended the cord?” but no one told on me because they got to charge (their phones)"
"We were 200 people. After a day, I said to my friends, come here. We didn’t have men with us. Rather than sleeping in a room with men and women, let’s all sleep in the same room, a room just with women. There were a number of rooms. We were about nine women without men."
This extract is from an interview conducted during the summer of 2016 as part of the Crossing the Mediterranean Sea by Boat project, which was led by Vicki Squire: www.warwick.ac.uk/crossingthemed. Fuller stories from which these excerpts are taken can be explored here: https://crossing-the-med-map.warwick.ac.uk/