the fire these times

49. Moria Camp and the Deadly Cost of Fortress Europe

This is a conversation with Ghias Al Jundi, a Syrian-British human rights activist, about the recent fires at the Moria camp in Greece. The fires that burned through the camp left thousands houseless, turning a situation that was already described as a living hell into something even worse. Please check the links below for readings on that.

Ghias has been going frequently to Greece to help refugees who make the dangerous journey across the Mediterranean Sea, a reality that is the result of the European Union’s decision to demonise migration and asylum. The EU has made it impossible for refugees to reach Fortress Europe via the land.


For more on that you can listen to episode 35 (July 6, 2020) on the deadly ‘Balkan Route’, with Jack Sapoch, coordinator of No Name Kitchen‘s border violence reporting, itself part of the Border Violence Monitoring Network (BVMN).


He also knows very well what it means to leave one’s home as he himself fled Syria in 1998 after surviving torture in Hafez Assad’s dungeons. This direct connection is something that I think is reflected in our own conversation. As he told me in the episode, seeing migrants and refugees try and reach Europe’s shores felt like Syria was coming to him this time.

From a Syrian revolution protest in London in 2011

If you’d like to support Ghias’ fundraising effort to help those displaced by the Moria fires, you can do so at this link.


From article Ghias wrote for Little Atoms in 2015. The photo, which is also the featured cover of this episode, was taken by Lefteris Partsalis.

As for articles related to the Moria fires, I recommend the following:

As for my own contributions to this topic, I’ll redirect you to two pieces I’ve written. One is a piece for Byline Times from April 2020 entitled ‘why Fortress Europe and the European Union can’t coexist‘ and another is a piece for Al Jazeera from November 2017 entitled ‘How the EU is responsible for slavery in Libya‘.


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Music by Tarabeat. Photo by Lefteris Partsalis (I blurred the image of the child out of privacy concerns).

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