Detention Camp Moria Lesvos – A melting pot

detention-camp-moria-lesvosHe looks at us and says:  ‘I have seen you before in Moria. Welcome back ‘. His smile touches my heart…

Mostafa was a nuclear physicist working for Defence in Iran on a nuclear program. He fled Iran after an attack on his life and came to Turkey. His wife and three children were killed by the regime…

After three years he was forced to leave Turkey and applied for asylum in the USA. When they discovered who he really was, they put him on the plane back to Turkey. He could not stay there and fled to Athens. He was arrested and locked for a half years behind bars. He got transferred to Moria. Meanwhile the borders were closed. Although no one could or would do anything for him and there is no possibility that he can leave the island, his spirit is unbroken.

Two kinds

Greece is earning an enormous amount of money from the refugees industry. Anxiously Europe tries to get their borders closed, because they realise all too well that they will be engulfed by millions of refugees…

According to Mostafa there are two types of refugees. Those who are forced to flee their country as their lives are in danger because of war or other political or even non-political situation.

The other group can be described as economic refugees, the adventurer, the fortune-hunter. By the media and by the time-spirit they wake up and become more and more curious about other places in the world. Moreover, not only do they believe in a dream we mirror them that Europe is a Valhalla in terms of money, also because some of them like to enjoy the fruits that are banned in their own country, such as drugs and alcohol. In short, the economic refugees.

How more experienced I got by listening to their incredible stories, how more I have to say that it is more complicated. Every human being has a reason to come here. To risk your live by crossing the ocean in a dangerous rubber vehicle, you do not do that for fun…


Refugees have become an industry. People from everywhere are recruited by criminal forces and put on the boat, literally and figuratively, for money and false promises. Although they should know the other side of the story, it is often not like that because some reporting is blocked in their country and men happens to be essentially fatalistic. First we have to see before we can believe. And that is ultimately the only way. We have literally to experience things by ourselves before it can sink in. When they arrive here in Moria or elsewhere, their dream of an lovable and rich West soon false apart. There is no way back. The money they borrowed or has brought together by their family for the smuggler route out of hope for a better live for all of them, has to be repaid. That is one reason they cannot go back. There is even a more important point for Arab cultures. Losing your face is something that is not accepted in a macho world of oppression and domination. And a final reason is perhaps the most important. This hell of pain and suffering is a melting pot of almost fifty different cultures where people are lifted themselves up beyond their origins and culture, and where life is lived in all respects at the fullest. It is the survival of the fittest…

I do not understand why we do not focus on dismantling of the criminal smuggler circuit behind the story. Or is it ALL about money…


‘Yasmin, I think about going back to Pakistan’.  ‘What is stopping you’. ‘We will get a free ticket and 500 Euros. We want 5000 Euros’. I look at him and say, ‘I am a poor Greek. I come to Pakistan. I want a house – I want a job – I want you to send my children to school’.  He looks at me. ‘We are crazy huh Yasmin’. ‘Yeah beauty, you are a bit crazy,’ I tell him without any kind of judgment. ‘What is your heart telling you’, I ask. ‘I want to go home. I miss my wife and children. I dream about them every night. I am going Yasmin. I promise…’

Three days later, he tells me he still wants to go first to Italy to earn some money. I know it is useless to talk about it again. Let him by himself experience what must be experienced by every soul itself…

Bright spot

There is also a bright spot in the life of Mostafa. In Moria Camp he fell in love with a beautiful woman from Iran. Recently he got married. He has another son.

There is another bright spot. He – like many of the Iranians here – became a Christian. His face starts to shine. ‘I have found peace in my heart, Yasmin. Most Muslims hate other cultures and other religions. They take care of their own family but do not feel compassion for other people. Many of them sow discord and hatred. They are killing others because of their religion, but there is no Arab country which like to give us asylum. Despite their difficult situation it are the people from the West who opening up their hearts and preparing to help us …’

Hussein from Afghanistan

Hussein was fearing for his life in Afghanistan. He is six months in Moria. ‘It was not always easy Yasmin, but I have learned here a lot from other people and other cultures. Our system is closing our eyes. They like us to believe that everything within our borders is better than outside our country. Until now it kept people from leaving their countries. But now we let ourselves not stop anymore and here we discover that we are all brothers and sisters …’

Good and evil

I do not think in terms of good and evil. I cannot say that Muslims are wrong and Christians are holy. Everywhere people remain people. Generally, I dare to say, Christians have crossed more often their borders. For them love and care for others has a high priority. And that is not restricted to their family! Generally Muslims derive their security from the Quran and often they shall defend this holy book by tooth and nail. Nevertheless any real Muslim will tell you that the Islam is a loving religion. Undoubtedly  in essence it is like that.


Moreover, the Christians have walked the path of conversion and domination. To a lesser extent they still do so in Africa and here in Moria. Mormons are operating under the name of NGO Euro-Relief in the Camp and baptize their followers in the sea. We are in Church with our Iranian and African friends. I participate with an open heart. If Emanuel from the USA starts his sermon, I go back in time. I do not stand up to tell the man that he better can use his intension to bring peace in his own country. Who am I to take away the inner feeling of peace from those people who probably experience this for the first time in their live. Some of them have decided to go back to Iran, to their beloved family to share secretly their acquired wealth with them. Openly that is impossible. They will be killed immediately.

Witch Craft

He is young, beautiful, and from Ghana. He came all alone and does not have any preference were to stay in Europe.  He feels safe now he has escaped from whitchkraft that killed his parents and three siblings. Believe me, I know and respect that power. Anyway, he cannot get back even if we want to put all Afrikaners immediately on the plane. Maybe it is undoubtedly true for a certain majority, but how more I listen to their real stories, the more I am convinced that it does not apply to an entire group. And that applies for every culture. You will have to judge every human being individual.

Family Reunion

Migrants from everywhere want to join their families, which are located somewhere in the West. Why stopping them to reunion with their husbands, wives and children, while those are willing to take them up and to care for them?

Stephen from Uganda

His parents died from AIDS, and he grew up in a hard and loveless situation. Aid workers taught him to speak English and made that he more or less felt loved. He worked in Dubai and Hong Kong. Back in Uganda he was imprisoned for months and severely tortured. He suffered from brain damage and fled to Turkey. He was black. His passport and money were stolen. For years he was more or less used as a slave to pay for his treatment and for his stay. When the situation in Turkey became untenable, he fled to the west. He seclude himself from the crowd and is only in the camp after dark. When I met him the second time, I set myself near him on the floor against a tree. The result is an hour-long monologue in which I hold his hands and he makes a start with his inner transformation. That night he sleeps for the first time in months. I see not only hope in his eyes – there is also a sparkling of trust…


Refugees from war zones such as Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq and Eritrea are more or less privileged that they have the resources to come to the West. They usually have relatives in their home country that cannot make that crossing and have to fear every day for their lives. You need money, lots of money to make the crossing to the rich West. Not everyone and not every family is able to collect that money…


The more we want control, the more we lose control. When we open the borders, we hit the traffickers of their contraband from hands. It will be less attractive to come to the West. Because we will apply the same rules for everybody. Everyone gets a visa for three months and must provide for its own maintenance. If one wants to settle in the West it will be necessary to comply with rules as applied to Westerners. His/Her contribution must be important or he or she must have sufficient resources to settle here and earn his own living. And believe me or not, we need many people from outside to get a breath of fresh air into the west and to turn around our problems of an aging population and the enormous loneliness that goes along with that.


Of course we continue to take up refugees from war zones. Now we do that often out of pity, instead of out of compassion – one of the weaker sides of Christianity. We give them a treatment where many of our own people get jealous of. People from other cultures are mostly very happy when they can work to earn their own money.  They are usually used to live together in a small space with their entire families. When we are willing we can learn a lot from them. They can feed and care for an entire family with one salary. Actually, as the Greeks still are doing this. We like to call this poverty. I experience this as pure wealth.


What we see as wealth are often things that we do not really need. We only collect them because we do not like to be aware of our inner emptiness and real poverty. We believe that spending lots of money is necessary to let flourish our economy. That is only a belief system. Our economy is an outdated concept that is in dire need of renewal.

Moria a melting pot

Proudly he stands behind the stroller. He is black and comes from East Africa. ‘Family?’ I ask. ‘No, my Afghan neighbours,’ he anwers proudly. Grandmother is sitting in front of the tent. I go on my knees and hug her…


What happens in such a hug is indescribable. Every time again it is touching for me, the openness I feel in the hearts of people. In short, there is literally nothing in between. How else I experience that sometimes in the ‘rich’ West.

Here I am completely myself. I walk down the street, I walk through the camp, I touch people, immigrants or Greek and wrap my arms around them. They suck it up like it is gold. Contorted faces are opening up. Tears are flowing and sorrow softens.


‘What do you need Yasmin. Can we do something for you. Can we collect clothes?’ ‘No dear that is not my thing. That is incredibly important, but is done by others. I am the fool in the Tarot. I dance with the Iranians, sing with the Afrikaners, drink wine with people who never drank wine before, share their food and accept lovingly the only apple they get that day while I have a whole basket of fruits in my room…’


It does not border me if people are Muslim, Christian or Atheist. To me they are primarily humans and we can enrich each other’s existence by opening our hearts for one another. Willingly or unwillingly, the world shall mingle. That we will not stop by various laws and high bars or walls. This process we can gradually proceed as we dare to open our hearts and let fade our inner borders…

Namasté,  Yasmin


One love - One TribeMy wish for every day and for 2017

The world has become a melting pot. If we like it or not – we have to learn to live together and to embrace each other, un-regarded race, culture or religion. We are ALL one and we NEED each other.
It is my desire that we go beyond limitations in 2017. If we open our INNER borders – we will open ALL borders…
Let 2017 be a year of prosperity, human rights and freedom for ALL of us…

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3 comments to Detention Camp Moria Lesvos – A melting pot

  • Dora SP KOS

    My dear Yasmin,
    Love every word you wrote! So true ….so out of heart given! Love what you do! Love the free spirited mind and heart you have! I too enjoy their company…their stories…their hopes…dreams… listening to their fears!! The look on their face when they address you and look upon you as if you have a magic wond…but all we have is our free spirit that we share with them through music…laughter..dancing…hugging and just being one of them! I adore you! Love you for who you are!!!

  • Lieve Yasmin,
    Bedankt voor het delen van al deze prachtige beelden van mensen en hun verhalen. Wat een rijkdom aan inzicht spreid je weer ten toon. Het gaat er inderdaad om de unieke mens achter al deze gezichten te zien. Elk met zijn/haar eigen achtergrond en eigen wensen en verlangens en hoop op een beter leven. We weten dat het gaat om het vinden van rust en evenwicht in onze eigen situatie.Dat blijft lastig als we al of niet aan de buis gekluisterd, blijven denken dat het elders beter is.Ik wens jou en allen een jaar vol vrede en veiligheid toe.Dat gevoel komt van binnen.Overal dreigt gevaar als we ons niet thuis kunnen voelen in ons eigen Zijn.
    Veel Liefs en een warme knuffel van mij.

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