The Kindness of Strangers

'If you look into their eyes you see that they are human being just like us and this is why we are here'

Photo by: TRTWorld
Photo by: TRTWorld

Refugees at Cesme makeshift camp surveying the Greek island if Chios on the horizon

There are no words to describe the scale of the tragedy that has befallen refugees. When you walk around camps you see the full impact of war, violence, and poverty.

But what struck me during the time that I spent covering the refugee crisis around Turkey's Aegean coast is the kindness of strangers and the immense generosity of the people there. During our time at the makeshift camp in Cesme we met Turkish and non Turkish people who have all left comfortable middle class lives to come help out.

All the way from Germany

Doctors Bita and Khalil Kirmani are among them. They're a husband and wife team who have come from Cologne in Germany to give relief to the refugees.

"Their situation is so sad that they are prepared to risk their lives. if you look into their eyes you see that they are human being just like us and this is why we are here," explained Bita, aged 53.

The couple, who have over twenty five years of medical experience each, say that the struggles of the refugees strike a personal chord with them. They both speak Farsi and have links to Iran where some of the refugees have come from.

Dr Kermani carries out an examination in a make-shift consulting room

Journey to Cesme

They first heard about the Cesme camp when they were at the island of Lesbos proving medical assistance to refugees there. A friend who was volunteering with them told me about this makeshift camp that could use their help. They packed up and came.

"This will get worse... The only solution is to end the wars and and the sale of weapons" Khalil says, idealistically.

His wife chimes in, "we have it so good in our country, they have it so bad... These trips are not a cruises. There is too much risk.. The EU should do something so they don't have to take so many risks."

Author: Zeina Awad