Farid, a 20 year-old Syrian man with a disability describes how his surroundings affect his mental state, as a refugee in temporary accommodation in Athens:
"[The temporary accommodation is] not comfortable. It’s very hot and we don’t have a fan. We are getting mosquitoes. And there’s no TV. I’m [going out] …from extreme boredom, I feel depressed. And at the same time I don’t have any money. If they give me a bus ticket, I’ll go. Walk a little, but I don’t have enough to sit down somewhere, relax my mind. I go [out], come back and sleep. Dignity is above all, I told you. I can’t stretch my hand to strangers here in Athens. It’s very hard."
For many refugees, dignity is difficult to maintain amid the challenging conditions and privations they face in temporary accommodation. This report includes statistics from Dec 2019 on numbers of refugees in different accommodations. Conditions have only worsened - and caused further psychological suffering - in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
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/