As a result of the ongoing conflicts in Syria and other areas of the Middle East, the flux of people in search of safety continues. According to Amnesty International, a staggering 50% of Syrians are now displaced. In August on the island of Kos, I spent a week with refugees in their camps and some of the time in the migratory paperwork processing centre (a football stadium). Setting up camp in the parks and peripheral areas of the town, mostly Syrian, Iraqi and Iranian families awaited calmly there whilst the local migratory office processed their papers for moving on.
It was endearing to meet these wonderful people, sharing stories, laughter, sadness, and seeing photos of what their lives were like before the tyranny ensued in their homelands. Some people, having come from comfortable lives previously, were making this monumental journey not out of 'economic tourism' as some wrongly suggest, but out of genuine need for safety; having lost their homes and livelihoods, those lucky enough still to have family at their side cherished them and made the most of what little they now had.
What was clear more than anything, was that contrary to the persistent heartless portrayals in populist media, these people pose no threat to anyone, they are IN danger, not dangerous people.