Day 10: Meeting refugees and AthenaBy Kunal Mehta
Part of a series on my journalism faculty-led program through Italy and Greece. Yes, I fell behind on blogging :/.
We hit the ground running in Athens, and the first morning, went to interview refugees in Victoria Square. Since we only spoke English, we looked for people roughly our age, assuming that the younger generation would speak English.
It's a small square, but we found 3 young men from Afghanistan. They fled the Taliban, and eventually ended up in Greece. They have refugee status, but are unable to work, and spend most of their day walking around the park, playing some soccer, and similar. They said they don't have a proper place to stay, and are often sleeping in the park. They were willing to do a video interview with microphones, as long as the camera didn't show their faces. The most frustrating part for me was when one of them told us he had a graduate degree in computer science - and yet he's unable to use his education to get a job and work.
We also talked with a few more young men, but from Syria this time. I have a text story for that, which should be published...soon.
In the evening we did a walking tour of Athens, saw the Modern Academy of Athens, and then the incredibly beautiful Panathenaic Stadium. Our tour guide finished with a somewhat lecture on being active citizens in the democracy, which I enjoyed. It's incredible that theoretically I'm walking on the same grounds that Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle once walked on.