Ramadhan on Lesvos

Dehydration and hunger are challenges anyone faces who fasts. Nevertheless, millions of people from several religions follow the rules of fasting every year. For many muslim believers fasting – called Ramadhan – is an important part of their religion. Ramadhan started some weeks ago, also on Lesvos. For many believers on the island, it is no option to renounce fasting, because it is part of their religion and their identities.

Even before Ramadhan, people had to deal with too little food on the island and thus their well-being was endangered, especially in the detention camp on Lesvos, Moria, where conditions are hardly to bare. Now, since fasting has begun, the situation is even worse. Since the believers don’t drink and eat during the day, hunger is a problem in the evening, when they have to face long lines and hours of waiting only to get insufficient supplies of food.

In these evenings, when people are forced to cue up, the existing conditions in Moria provoke even more inequality and dissention among the fasting and the not fasting inmates. People are desprate and try to survive. The ones who don’t fast have a possibility to get more because they are stonger and might fight for their food. Since during Ramadhan, believers must not fight, there is no way to express their distress and anger against the conditions and there is no possibility to fight for their right to get some food. The situations seems comparingly calm from outside and thus the inhuman condition can be maintained by the authorities – but silence is no expression of approval.

It is summer and the temperatures rise up to over 35°C on the island. Therefore, many fasting people are too weak to leave the camp. Mytilini, the next city is about two hours away by feet away from it. Thus, fasting on Lesvos means staying in the detention camp, especially for the most vulnerable groups of people, like elderly women and men.

Due to the current situation the No Border Kitchen Lesvos is also facing challenges. We have planed to support protesters with water and demonstration materials at Moria, but due to Ramadhan the majority of the people have decided to stay calm. So the protests failed. We have decided to continue distributing food near Moria, since for many, leaving the camp is not possible. But our minds haven’t changed: The NBK does not consent with the inhuman conditions that are forced about the people trapped at the borders, may it be in Greece or anywhere else. We seek to provide an alternative to the detention and deportation policy of Greece, the EU and their collaborator organisation Frontex.

The fight against borders will continue. Solidarity for everyone trapped at the borders. And keep in mind:


Ramadhan auf Lesvos

Dehydrierung und Hunger sind Herausvorderungen denen sich jeder stellt der fastet. Trotzdem folgen jedes jahr Millionen Gläubige vieler Religionen den Regeln des Fastens. Für viele Moslems ist Fasten – genannt Ramadhan – ein wichtiger Teil ihrer Religion. Ramadhan hat vor einigen Wochen begonnen, auch auf Lesvos. Auf das Fasten zu , ist trotz aller Strapazen für viele Gläubige keine Alternative. Es ist Teil ihres Glaubens und ihrer Identität.

Schon vor Ramadhan mussten viele Menschen auf der Insel mit nur wenig Essen auskommen, weshalb ihre Gesundheit ohnehin gefährdet ist. Das gilt vor allem für die Menschen im Aufnahmelager auf Lesvos, Moria. Dort sind die Verhältnisse sowieso schwer zu ertragen. Während Ramadhan hat sich die Situation noch verschärft. Da die Gläubigen tagsüber weder trinken noch essen, sorgt abends der Hunger für Probleme. Denn dann heißt es stundenlang in Warteschlangen ausharren, um letztlich mit spärlichen Portionen abgespeist zu werden.

An diesen Abenden, an denen die Menschen gezwungen werden, schlange zu stehen, provozieren die Verhältnisse in Moria Ungleichheit und Uneinigkeit zwischen den fastenden und den nicht fastenden Insassen. Denn alle sind verzweifelt und versuchen zu überleben. Wer nicht fastet ist stärker und kann um sein Essen kämpfen. Da Gläubige aber während Ramadhan keine Auseinandersetzungen eingehen dürfen, gibt es weder einen Weg ihrer Notlage und ihrer Wut ausdruck zu verleihen, noch dürfen sie für ihr Recht auf Essen kämpfen. Die Lage in Moria scheint von außen verhältnismäßig ruhig, wodurch es leichter fällt die unmenschlichen Verhältnisse aufrecht zu erhalten. Aber: das Schweigen ist kein Ausdruck von Zustimmung.

Es ist Sommer und die Temperaturen auf der Insel erreichen mehr als 35°C, weshalb viele fastende Gläubige zu schwach sind, um das Camp zu verlassen. Denn Mytilini, die nächste Stadt, ist etwa einen zweistündigen Fußmarsch entfernt. Deshalb heißt fasten auf Lesvos im Camp bleiben. Betroffen sind vor allem die Verletzlichsten, wie ältere Frauen und Männer.

Angesichts der momentanen Situation steht auch die No Border Kitchen Herausvorderungen gegenüber. Wir hatten geplant Proteste vor Moria mit Wasser und Demonstrationsmaterial zu unterstützen. Wegen der Fastenzeit hat die Mehrheit der Menschen im Camp sich aber entschlossen, ruhig zu bleiben. Proteste fanden nicht statt. Wir haben entschieden, nahe Moria Essen zu verteilen, da es vielen nicht möglich ist sich weit vom Camp zu entfernen. Unsere Meinung hat sich dabei nicht geändert: Die NBK verurteilt die unmenschlichen Verhältnisse die allen an Grenzen gefangenen Menschen aufgezwungen wird, sei es in Griechenland oder irgendwo anders. Auf Lesvos wollen wir weiterhin eine Alternative bieten, zur Internierungs- und Abschiebungspolitik von Griechenland, der EU und ihren Handlangern Frontex.

Der Kampf gegen Grenzen geht weiter. Solidarität für alle, die an Grenzen gefangen sind. Und merkt euch:


Moria is Hell! 10.05.2016

Report from inside – Inside Moria the conditions for food are worse than hell. We have to wait in lines, our whole day we spend in waiting for food in huge cues.
We have to wait in line for two hours just for tea and we get pushed back and forth. People get hurt, just for a cup of tea and only the lucky ones manage to get it. It starts at 7:00 am in the morning. We have to strive for tea. It is like a jungle. People wake up to get in a cue for two hours just for a cup of tea and two biscuits.

And then people start looking for breakfast. Again people stand in a cue for three hours for a piece of bread and a juice box. S.O.S. Remar people distribute the food and they don’t do a good job because they don’t care. There are a lot of fights and people get injured everyday just for food. It is normal. Not everyone gets food in the end. By the time breakfast is finished at 1:00. And after the breakfast the struggle starts again. The lunch struggle is the same. Some people get food and others wait for hours for food and still don’t get any food.

I just saw a really ugly fight between two Syrians and three Pakistani’s in the struggle to get food. I don’t understand how people can fight just for food. I saw all these people injured really bad all of them were bleeding. I couldn’t stand it and started to cry. It is a circus every day. People get seriously injured and it’s fun for the cops and the military to watch. They don’t break up the fights, they just stand laughing and watch the people fight from a distance. You can see it on their faces that they are happy and smiling during the fights.

This tears me up completely. I could never have imagined this. It is a slap in the face of humanity.
I want to talk about food again. The struggle for food isn’t over and people start striving for dinner.The whole mess starts at 9:00 pm and people are forced to stand in lines again. The whole day just passes like that and at the end not everyone gets food. This pattern of living shocks me. Our whole day is standing in the lines waiting for small portions of food.

This is Hell. Policemen are happy and smiling during the fights.
People are being treated like animals – or sheep to be honest.