Festive aura of Eid al Adha in the refugee camps

“Eid al Adha feast in the camp of Gevgelija started with the Eid al Adha prayer organized by the Islamic Religious Community, which in coordination with the humanitarian organizations has served lunch for all the immigrants for three days in a row. As for the children, apart from the sweets and the small gifts that we gave, we managed to bring something more so that they could feel the festive atmosphere.”

Skopje, September 13 – Far from home and now with the hope of the opening of the borders to arrive in one of the countries of the European Union, 130 immigrants, mainly from Syria, located in the camp of Gevgelija along the border between Macedonia and Greece; and 61 other immigrants sheltered in the camp of Tabanovce along the borderline Macedonia-Serbia, have celebrated the first day of Eid al Adha. Omar Shaban from Syria has left his home country for more than six months, together with his uncle to join the other family members that are located in Germany. On the festive day of Eid, Omar told us that he prayed he would join his family as soon as possible. “To date the two feasts of Eid I am celebrating far from home, far from my family and relatives and this makes the feast full of sorrow. I don’t want to go back to Syria because the place there is dreadful. My home and everything that I had has been destroyed; I hope I will be given a chance as soon as possible to go to Germany or anywhere else in Europe where I would have a chance to continue my studies and to work in peace”, says Omar Shaban from Syria while drinking his morning tea together with his friends. Also, Muhaz al Hasad who is staying for 6 months now in the camp of Tabanovce together with his wife and his two children says that on this festive day his only wish is to arrive in one of the European countries.

“I am from Syria, Aleppo. I wish to head towards Europe as soon as possible in whichever country. The feast now is not a feast as long as you’re not in your home. I don’t want to stay in Macedonia. I hope for the borders to open and arrive in any country of Europe to establish a new life, a peaceful life for my family”, says Muhad al Hasad.

Jasmin Redzepi from the humanitarian organization LEGIS for Radio Free Europe unveils that in cooperation with the Islamic Religious Community of Macedonia they were engaged to bring little bit of a festive aura in the camps where the immigrants are sheltered.

“The feast of Eid ul Adha in the camp of Gevgelija started with the Eid prayer organized by the Islamic Religious Community which in coordination with the humanitarian organizations has served lunch for all the immigrants for three days. As for the children, apart from the sweets and the small gifts that we gave, we managed to bring something more so that they could feel the festive atmosphere”, says Redzepi. 

The Center for Crisis Management says that all the immigrants from the both camps in Macedonia – Tabanovce and Gevgelija wish as soon as possible to leave Macedonia and head towards the European Union countries. “All the immigrants sheltered in the camps that mainly come from Syria are waiting to head towards the countries of Europe. None of them has expressed willingness to ask for asylum in Macedonia, all of them want to continue the road they have initiated, that is Europe. But they want to make this in a legal way because they are with families and the majority of them have small children or elderly people with them”, says Arbnor Tefiku head assistant of the Transit Center for immigrants in Tabanovce.

Greece to find urgent shelter for 1500 unattended immigrant children

“Greece needs to find shelter for 1500 unattended immigrant children, from which the majorities according to the claims of the groups for protection of the human rights are accommodated in bad conditions, declared today the European commissioner for Justice Vera Jourova. After the visit in Athens, Jourova said that this problem needs to be solved urgently. Last week, the organization HRV announced that the immigrant children for more than one month are staying in “dire conditions” and that some of them because of the lack of space are locked in a police cell together with the elderly.

“According to the Greek Government, in this country there are around 3500 underage including another 300 that are locked in the centers for admission and 18 other that are in police custody”, stressed Jourova.

EU this weekend announced that it will give Greece 115 million Euros for improvement of the admission centers for immigrants. The Greek Government announced that by the end of September will register around 18.000 immigrant children in school.

Replacement of the Czech police in the border Macedonia – Greece

The Czech contingent of border police officers, that assists their colleagues in Macedonia in patrolling, monitoring and keeping the Macedonian-Greek border, has performed a regular performance, announced the Regional Center for Crisis Management. The replacement was performed yesterday with 40 new members of the Special Forces of Czech Republic, who starting from today, in Gevgelija and its suburbs will be kept until 31 of October, which will follow with a replacement of a new contingent of border police officers who their mission in Macedonia will continue until December 19. In accordance, after the Balkan route closure the situation in the transit centers, Gevgelija is calm and stable with normal performance of the duties by all the factors involved in the confrontation with the refugee crisis and the fallout from it. Currently there are 126 immigrants/refugees remaining in the camp, whereas in the past 24 hours has arrived only one family – seven members from Afghanistan (a man, a woman and five children) who have illegally crossed the border Greece-Macedonia.