Today hundreds of refugees have been barred from entering the main train station ın Budapest preventing them from making their way to Western Europe. Thousands of refugees are currently making a treacherous trip across the continent by crossing the Mediterranean Sea and then finding any means possible to escape war and bring safety for them and their families.
I walk among the hundreds of tents set up ın te underground station concourse to find a young family sitting alongside many others. Two little boys take a likıng to the Haribo sweets in my hand. I offer them some sweets and strike up a conversation in the little English that the two young children’s Mother knows: her name is Manal Al-Abedö. Manal is 30 years old and is runnıng to peace and safety from the conflict ın Syria wıth her two sons and her husband. She tells me that she arrived to Europe by a boat in Greece and over 20 days has walked from Greece to Hungary, via Macedonia Serbia, wıth only a few short bus trips through generosity. That is a walk of over a thousand mıles; and there’s still more to do.
Manal, and her Familiy’s, aim is very similar to all the others I talk to. The aim is to get to Germany. “Why?” I ask. “The camp” she says. “There is a camp for us in Germany”, she smiles. I ask why she does not want to go to England and Manal laughs. She says she does not have enough money to get to England; the furthest she can go is to Germany.
Her son is enjoying the final few sweets in the bag when Manal points to the big scar that is running across the nose of her 10 year old son. It was caused by shrapnel from a bomb, she says; usıng her hands to emphasise the point. “This is why we had to leave” Manal states. She comes from the 8th biggest City in Syria, Deir Al-Zor, where they are currently under siege by ISIS. Almost everything is destroyed. Manal is here wıth her family but there is as many as 180 people from her hometown and many more following behind in fear of their and their family’s lives.
“Budapest is by far the worst place we have been. There is no runnıng water and no food for us. We are hungry’”. Manal continued: “When in Belgrade there was an effort wıth water and food. Here there is nothing”. I ask her one final question. “If you could say one thing to the leaders and people of Europe. What would it be?”. Manuel thinks for a second and says: “It would not be thank you. They do nothing to help they just complain about us. They do not understand our situation. If my children are in danger what else should I do? What would you do!”
Currently they are only letting those who have documentation into the train station. The hundreds of migrants outside must wait, even with their with tickets in hand, to be let in.
Walker Darke. Budapest, for Blasting News, El Observador and several EU NGO’s.