journey of faith

October 8, 2015

I’ve recently returned from the Greek/ Macedonian border, where I was documenting the refugee and migrant crisis.

I was travelling with a delegation of senior UK church leaders, part of Churches Together in Britain and Ireland.

Migrants and refugees queue to cross from Greece to Macedonia at Idomeni

What I will always remember from the trip was the woman in the centre of this picture, Diana.

Amid the squalor and the rubbish, this neat and self-composed young woman stood out.

With her Mango handbag and carton of juice, she looked like she was going shopping, instead of enduring a long, dangerous and uncertain journey across an unwelcoming Europe.

Diana is a lawyer. She told me that she was traveling to Germany with her mother Majida because their house in Damascus had been destroyed and they had nowhere to live.

They were desperate, but very dignified. I think my questions irritated her; I sensed did not want to be treated with pity, or curiosity. She did not want to dwell on her circumstances. She wasn’t interested in talking to me.

She just wanted to get the journey finished so she could continue with her life.

I sincerely hope she has been able to do that.

You can read more about the trip in this piece here.

Christine Elliott talks with Syrian refugee and engineering student Ali IMG_8772 CTBI_Greece-13