Omar Havana

Photographer
    
The Way
Location: Brussels, Belgium
Nationality: Spanish
Biography: Omar Havana, 1975 Granada, Spain. Spanish Freelance Photojournalist. Based in Brussels, Belgium. Previously based in France 2017-2021, Nepal 2014-2015 and Cambodia 2008 - 2014 ; 2015-2017. Omar has worked as a professional photojournalist since... MORE
Public Story
The Way
Copyright Omar Havana 2022
Date of Work Feb 2016 - Feb 2016
Updated Jan 2020
Location Greece
Topics Action Aid, Aegean Sea, Athens, Black and White, Borders, Civil Wars, Crisis, Discrimination, Documentary, Dreams, Editorial, Essays, EU, Europe, Europe Photographer, European Union, Family, Fear, Freedom, Greece, Hope, Human Rights, Immigration, Lesbos, Lesvos, Media, Migration, NGO, On Assignment, Paris Photographer, Peace, Photography, Photojournalism, Politics, Racism, Refugee, Refugee Crisis, Safe Passage, war refugees, Welcome Refugees

More than 100,000 refugees and migrants have arrived in Greece since the beginning of 2016. They cross the Mediterranean, risking their lives to board dinghies after paying smugglers on the Turkish coast.

They must survive a boat ride of more than two hours across the waters that separate the Turkish coast from the Greek island of Lesbos. More than 400 people have already drowned attempting the journey this year.

The Greek coastguard patrols the Aegean Sea in search of boats in trouble. In Lesbos, doctors team up with rescue workers, firemen, and volunteers waiting for the daily arrivals, who disembark on the beaches of Greece shaking from the cold, but happy to have made it alive.

The teams of helpers work fast to provide hot drinks, blankets, medical support and, in many cases, a comforting hug.

European governments have put up a number of obstacles to curb the inflow of people. Recently, migrants from specific countries were blocked from continuing their journey on the Balkan route by crossing into Macedonia, which has led to protests and clashes between refugees and authorities.

In Lesbos, refugees are sent to registration centers, such as Moria, where they wait for days to receive documents that will allow them to board ferries to Athens.

Despite the difficulties, many refugees persevere having left behind homes torn apart by violence and war.

"We all have the same story, we are traveling the same road, a road where our hearts have died, a road that is taking us far from home," said one Syrian refugee.


Photography © Omar Havana. All Rights are Reserved

This story was published in Al Jazeera

This story was done while on assignment for Action Aid Greece




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