Meet one of the young boys at the refugee camp who simply captured our hearts. He came straight up to us, shook our hands and said ‘nice to meet you’, with a smile so sweet and a personality so endearing. We met on our first day at Skaramangas when we played soccer together. Saanya was filming a few kids asking them about life in the camps and their journeys to get there. This young boy said, “I can’t talk about that.” Instead Saanya asked him about his favorite movie (Fast and Furious), his favorite soccer player (Ronaldo), his favorite food (his mom’s cooking), what he wants to do when he grows up (fly planes), and all the things that kids should think about when they’re 10 and 12. When we left the camp that evening, he shouted out “see you tomorrow”, willing that we would return. We had to.
The next day was New Year’s day; Saanya asked several of the kids their wishes for the new year and filmed it; our friend talked about going to Germany. At the end of the day, he again shouted out, “see you tomorrow”. We had to tell him we were leaving for Lesbos the next day, and then back to America, that we wouldn’t be able to see him tomorrow. He looked sad, and just said “see you next week … maybe.” We left it at that. It turned out that we shortened our trip in Lesbos by a day so we could spend an extra day at Skaramangas camp before heading back to the US. You should have seen his face when he saw us at camp again; he ran over with a big hug.
At the end of the day, we had to say good bye again, this time for real. Without skipping a beat, he asked, “Facebook?” We nodded; he said “ok, see you on the mobile!”, and ran off to play soccer.
Photo: Saanya Ali