World Refugee Day 2020: Two messages worth listening to

“Stop discriminating… we are all human beings, we are all the same”, says Maryam Sarazi who is from the region of Balochistan and has been staying at the long term accommodation site of Diavata. 

On World Refugee Day 2020 the Secretary General for the United Nations Antonio Guetteres praised those nations and communities hosting refugees and internally displaced people, often amid their own economic and security challenges “We owe these countries our thanks, our support and our investment,” he said, adding that “On World Refugee Day, we thank refugees for their resourcefulness and determination to rebuild their own lives, and to improve the lives of those around them.”

In this spirit and with the support of the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) we spoke to two of the people living at the Diavata long term accommodation site just outside of the city of Thessaloniki.

Kaveh Rafiepour Mohammedi is from Iran and has been in Greece with his wife and two children for two years. As he tells us he would like to remain in Greece, find a job and live in Thessaloniki. His message for World Refugee Day is to help those like him who want to work and provide for their families.

During the ASB Non Formal Education classes Kaveh revealed his love of photography and participated in a short photography course organised by the ASB NFE team. In a moment off camera Kaveh told us how ASB helped him compose his resume; he told us that he used to work on tall buildings cleaning windows and would like to continue doing so and hopefully this would enable him to remain in “…the beautiful city of Thessaloniki…”,  he added.

Maryam Sarazi who is from the region of Balochistan in almost perfect English, as she attends all Non Formal Education classes provided for by ASB,  talks to us about her dreams and future hopes. She describes how she would like to learn Greek and further her education to be able to work in Greece. Prior to filming Maryam told us how difficult it is for women in her region to be able to survive. Maryam has a very simple message for World Refugee Day as she looks into the camera: “Stop discriminating… we are all human beings, we are all the same”, she says.

Watch the two videos


Video: Vassilis Kommatas