LESBOS, GREECE -- This is the ‘Mountain of Misery’ or the ‘Lifejacket Graveyard’ in the north of the Greek island of Lesbos. Whatever you choose to call it, this massive reminder of the resilience of the human spirit stretches to the horizon.
This year, nearly one million male, female, young, old, strong and vulnerable human beings, have arrived in Europe by sea, seeking international protection. According to the UN’s refugee agency, UNHCR, they are fleeing war, violence, and persecution in their country of origin.
Eight hundred thousand people have found their way to Greece in hopes of a better life. If they make the treacherous crossing safely, many more obstacles lie ahead. Those from Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq will be fast tracked and can make it through the Macedonian border where depending on their wealth, they may ultimately find their way into Europe. The others from Eritrea, Pakistan, Somalia, Sudan, Mali, Gambia, Morocco and Iran will be stopped at the border because they are not officially refugees.
They will then be stuck, not able to move forward, not wanting to go back.
Today, there are rumors they will be deported. Tonight I spent time with a family from Iran. I gave them dry socks, blankets, soup, and a tent. I could not give them hope.
RYOT and The Huffington Post are teaming to up present "The Crossing," an immersive reporting series hosted by Susan Sarandon chronicling the refugee crisis as it unfolds in Greece.
-- Susan Sarandon Joins Sea Rescue Team On Search For Refugees Headed To Greece
-- Lesbos' Lifejacket Graveyard: Susan Sarandon Visits The Frontlines Of The Refugee Crisis
-- Susan Sarandon Is Welcoming Refugees To Greece
-- At Lesbos, Children's Pool Toys Are Evidence Of Dangerous Journey
-- This Group Is Bringing A Much Needed Resource To Refugees In Greece: Clean Laundry