Hope lost in Greece, some Syrians pay smugglers to get home
Europe seemed like the promised land, worth risking their lives to reach. But in a muddy field on the northern edge of Greece, their dreams died. Now, dozens of Syrian refugees are risking their lives again but in the opposite direction – paying smugglers to take them back to Turkey, and heading home.
Rather than brave the often treacherous waves of the Aegean again, they face the dangerous currents of the Evros River, which runs along the Greek-Turkish border. Each night, groups of migrants and refugees huddle at the railway station of the small border town of Didimoticho, about 3 kilometers (2 miles) from the frontier, setting up small tents and waiting for their chance to cross.
Among them is Atia Al Jassem, a 27-year-old Syrian barber from Damascus who is heading east with his wife and 1-year-old daughter after spending months stuck on the Greek border with Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), watching his hopes of reaching Europe ebb away.
"I am going to Turkey, I do not want Europe any more. Finished," he says, sitting in a small park near the railway station in Thessaloniki.....MOREPreviously:
...Among those giving up on hopes of a life in Europe was Majd Hamed, a 21-year-old fine arts student also from Damascus. After three months in Idomeni, he decided in mid-May to head home.
"I want to go to Syria and continue my studies in the Fine Arts School....
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Reminiscent of some other stories over the years:
Thousands Of Migrants Flee Finland Hoping For A Better Life In Iraq
The headline is a takeoff on a factoid in 2012's "Migrant Workers Leaving Greece, Going Home to Albania....":
...and from a 2002 Federal Reserve Board Open Market Committee transcript:Voting With Their Hooves: "Dairy Cows Flee California Seeking a Better Economic Climate for Themselves and their Calves"
“There is growing anecdotal evidence that this may be due to Mexican immigrants departing the United States in search of a better life in Mexico