A group from Iraq and Iran stand near a fire in near-freezing temperatures at a camp in Dunkirk.
They don’t want to live in France. But here they are, in a makeshift camp near the old train tracks in the suburb of Grande-Synthe, having to swim back to shore after unsuccessful attempts to cross the English Channel.
This happened four times, one of them says.
As they wait for their next try, they are camping in Grand-Synthe at a site that has become popular with migrants since a nearby one – which housed more than 1,000 people – was broken into by police last week. Had given.
Tents are set up in rows of two or three along a narrow stretch of land, which fits between an old railway line and a road.
Fire burns and smoke rises all over the camp on a cold Saturday morning, with temperatures just above freezing.
“People’s lives are very bad,” says an Iraqi young woman Granthshala As she describes life at the camp. “There’s no house, it’s too cold, we don’t eat.” She laughs and says: “Don’t take a bath.”
Others in the group begin to list what they are missing in the camp, which includes money and clothes. “Nothing,” says a young man.
Kurdish Kishor Ali tells at the bus stop on a nearby main road Granthshala He wants to take a sleeping bag before going to the campsite. He has come to Europe with his brother from Iran, a country he says is dangerous to some, including those of the LGBT+ community – to which he belongs.
He hopes it will be safe in England, where his parents live. He is already able to speak English.
According to Ali – on their way to Europe, the brothers spent five days on a boat with neither food nor a place to sit – who recounts Granthshala He is 18 years old, and one of his favorite singers is Billie Eilish.
Now, they are thinking of taking another boat to England, which Ali describes as a cheaper option. “Whatever money we had, we spent it. We don’t have much money now,” he says. “We have to go to England by boat.”
Other expatriates in northern France tell Granthshala They feel they have no choice but to try to reach England by sea, even if it threatens their lives, as it will give them the best chance at a new life.
Requests have been made again for safe routes to England after the deadly shipwreck earlier this week that killed 27 people, including three children. Maryam Noori Hamdamine, a 20-year-old woman hoping to reach her fiancée in Britain, was the first victim to be named.
Credit: www.independent.co.uk /