Saving lives on Lesvos

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first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram The 2015 summer season on Lesvos was one which forced holidaymakers to question their perception of reality as days spent frolicking in the beauty of the Hellenic sun and sea were paralleled with the life, and loss of life, arriving on Sappho’s shores daily. For those lucky enough to reach Lesvos, an additional 6.8km journey on foot is demanded in order to reach the island’s main city, Mytilene, for onward processing. The parallel of life is chilling and the palpable evidence of cross-sea asylum seeking lines the streets in the form of fluoro orange life vests and deflated rafts. Neos Kosmos ventured to Lesvos to discuss the reality with local islander and policeman Giorgos Zervoglou, who returned to the island from Athens in 2014 to aid the augmented influx of refugees. Giorgos Zervoglou has served the Greek public as a policeman for seven years, with majority of his career spent in Athens. However, after refugee numbers started to rise on Lesvos a year ago, Zervoglou returned to his homeland and is now an integral part of the asylum seeking process. According to Zervoglou, Lesvos has always been a destination of refugees making the sea-bound trek across the Mytilene Strait, but “the past three months have broken new statistical grounds”, with Lesvos receiving 122,400 asylum seekers in 2015 alone. Zervoglou explains the refugee receiving process of Lesvos by stating that sometimes around “2,000 refugees enter the island daily, the majority being from Syria and Afghanistan, with the rest coming from Pakistan, Iran, Iraq, other Asian countries and even as far as Latin America”. Arriving by boat, refugees then head “straight to the Port Authority, where they are given a number that pinpoints when they entered the island”. After processing at the port, around “600 people per day pass through one of the island’s refugee camps, Moria, and around 1,000 people through the second camp, Kara Tepe; a camp only for Syrians”. Asylum seekers are held at the camps for roughly a day, where those residing within the campgrounds are provided with rooms, and basic necessities like a toilet, a bed, water and food. Refugees, however, exceed the space provided by the island’s camps, with many refugees sleeping in tents outside the campgrounds, and many who have received their papers sleeping at the port, waiting in patient anticipation for the arrival of the ferry that will take them to Athens and a better life. Regulations aside, Zervoglou spends time with refugees in order to hear their stories and to engage in an important step towards humanising the struggle for survival. “Many times I strike up conversation and they tell me about the reality of war in their country. “They tell me about bombs, about losing their parents or siblings. In general, they are just looking for a safe place to live without jeopardising their lives and the lives of their families.” Amplifying the sheer reality of the refugee crisis even further, Zervoglou explains that “the saddest thing [he has] seen was in February when it was really cold and a pregnant woman and husband arrived by boat”. “The woman got hypothermia from the boat ride and lost the baby. The man collapsed at Moria upon hearing about it.” The present situation in Lesvos presents many hard-hitting statistics, facts and stories, which, with just one trip to the island, intensely humanise what it means to seek asylum. Ironically, on an island and in a nation state that has been crippled by economic defect since 2008, spirits are charitable, and many citizens are selflessly giving clothes and food to the refugee camps. According to Zervoglou, “very few people hate refugees, most citizens feel for them”.But perhaps the most ironic sentiment presented by the reality of present day Lesvos is one which arises with comparison to the Australian federal government’s most recent proclamation; that it will accept 12,000 extra refugees affected by conflict in Syria and Iraq. In a possible bid to match the humanitarian spirit showcased in countries like Greece, Italy, Germany and Austria, 12,000 displaced mothers, fathers and children will be eligible for permanent resettlement in our peaceful state.However, for a land 58.6 times the size of Greece, this number seems dismal. In fact, these statistics make Australia’s humanitarian declaration relative to only six days of life on Lesvos, almost belittling the crisis that has been labelled by Labor MP Bill Shorten as the “greatest peacetime refugee crisis since the Second World War”.last_img read more


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first_img 0 Comments   Share   The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires There has also been some offseason buzz about whether the Notre Dame product has already supplanted long-time Cardinals star Larry Fitzgerald as the team’s No. 1 receiving target. Fitzgerald had almost 100 fewer receiving yards in 2013, but Floyd insisted there isn’t a defined first option or second option on the team’s offense right now.“I just like to go out there and play,” he said. “We all work together for the same common goal, and that’s to win ball games.” – / 32 “Last year, training camp was terrible,” Floyd said, chuckling, but didn’t really elaborate why. “But having a year under our belt under BA’s offense, everything comes faster. I’m really more comfortable in it now. You don’t have to really, you know, think; you can just go and play. And I can play fast and (not) have to think so much. “So that year two really will help me out, plus, I think, also the whole offense.”Floyd — who caught 65 passes for five touchdowns and more than 1,000 yards last year — also should benefit from having a familiar face under center this year. Carson Palmer is coming off a strong second half of the 2013 season, and Floyd said the chemistry between himself and the starting quarterback is “getting better.”“Once you get on the same track as Carson, things kind of flow very (well),” he said about all the team’s receivers. “So that’s where we’re going now. That’s where we started off at. And we’re just getting better from here.”The 6-foot-2 receiver also talked the optimism he has coming off a breakout campaign.“It builds (confidence) tremendously,” he said. “And I’m glad that my quarterback has a lot of confidence in me, knowing that I can make plays on the ball and make plays for him, even though he might be in a jam at some time.” Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Michael Floyd played for two different head coaches in his first two NFL seasons.However, the team’s 2013 leader in receiving yards heads into his third season in a familiar system, as Bruce Arians and Harold Goodwin return as head coach and offensive coordinator, respectively, for the Cardinals.Prior to the third day of Cardinals training camp Monday, the 24-year-old Floyd talked about the second year under Arians’ system compared to the first. Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Top Stories last_img read more

Light Your Fire How to Rekindle Your Business Passion

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first_imgbusiness passionLearn how to rekindle your business passion by getting back to the core principles that drive every entrepreneur.Michael E. Gerber, author and entrepreneur, writes in this guest post for Inc. that every startup founder and entrepreneur struggles with reigniting their business passion “at some point.” For Gerber, the key to getting back on track “is discovering what’s got you stuck, and then devising an ingenious way to get free of it.”To do this, Gerber says you must fall in love with your business again. He provides a series of questions for any entrepreneur struggling with business passion to ask herself. Each question revolves around one of the four “essential components” to the entrepreneur’s view of the world of business: “the Dream, the Vision, the Purpose, and the Mission.” Gerber recommends you “re-visit these four concepts any time you feel like you are spinning your wheels” to “get unstuck, and get on with the business of growing your company.”AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to PrintPrintShare to EmailEmailShare to MoreAddThislast_img read more