Omar Havana

Photographer
    
The Way
Location: Paris, France
Nationality: Spanish
Biography: Omar Havana, 1975 Granada, Spain. Spanish Freelance Photojournalist. Based in Paris, France. Previously based in Asia. ( Nepal 2014-2015 and Cambodia 2008 - 2014 ; 2015-2017) Omar has worked as a professional photojournalist since 2005, and since... read on

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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By Omar Havana —

VISUAL STORY

The Bucolic Life of a Cambodian Grandmother Accused of Mass Killings

By Omar Havana — In this dusty mountain hamlet on the Thai border, she is known as Grandma Chaem. The tiny 74-year-old lives peacefully in a snug, stilted house..
VISUAL STORY

They Smashed Banks for Pol Pot. Now They’re Founding Them

By Omar Havana — When the Khmer Rouge were ousted in 1979, they retreated to strongholds like Malai on the western fringes of Cambodia along with thousands of..
VISUAL STORY

Breaking tradition among Nepal's Maithil women

By Omar Havana — Like many women in the Maithil community in Nepal, Manjula Thakur found her life severely restricted and controlled by the male members of her..
VISUAL STORY

Bonjour, Paris

By Omar Havana — "The meaning of the other and love have disappeared from this society. Without money, people do not exist."  - Jean, a 33-year-old..
VISUAL STORY

Trapped: the Dark Side of Cambodia's Beer Gardens

By Omar Havana — Throughout Cambodia, thousands of women, most of them under the age of 25, work in beer gardens, karaoke bars and private parties promoting beer..
VISUAL STORY

When the Earth Shook Nepal

By Omar Havana — A 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck Nepal on April 25th, 2015, shaking the already-impoverished nation to its core, killing over 8,000 people,..
VISUAL STORY

A woman's Cry: The detention of Tep Vanny

By Omar Havana — Tep Vanny is Cambodia’s most famous activist and the leader of the women of Boeung Kak Lake, who stormed the country after their forced..
VISUAL STORY

Devotees of the Ink

By Omar Havana — Once a year, thousands of people from all over Thailand travel to the Wat Bang Phra temple, located about 70 kilometers outside of Bangkok in..
VISUAL STORY

Inside a Cambodian Slaughterhouse

By Omar Havana — In a country where the demand for meat is ever-increasing and where pork is generally favored, Cambodia’s swine slaughterhouses are an..
VISUAL STORY

The Khmer Fighters

By Omar Havana — Pradal Serey or Kun Khmer -free fighting- is an unarmed martial art from Cambodia. Compared to other forms of Southeast Asian kickboxing, Kun Khmer..
VISUAL STORY

My Country Is My Family

By Omar Havana — Surrounded by stunning forest, Beldangi is an example of how a refugee camp should be. Only one banner and a barrier at the main entrance indicate..
VISUAL STORY

Evicting Dreams: The Last Days of the White Building

By Omar Havana — On June 6th, the faces of the residents of the White Building showed the sadness of what were their last days home. During those days, people..
VISUAL STORY

The Angkor Hell

By Omar Havana — Just a few dozen kilometers away from the world-famous Angkor temples, about 300 people have lived for the last three years in a rapidly expanding..
VISUAL STORY

La Vie En Jaune

By Omar Havana — Hundreds of thousands of “Gilet Jaunes” (meaning “Yellow Vest” in French) have taken to the streets of France every weekend..
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