Migration is not easy.
It never has been.
So, it is interesting to read that 30 asylum seekers in Sweden objected to their new accommodation because it was in a town surrounded by woodland. The Local reported (emphasis mine):
Charlotte Jacobsson, a press spokesperson for Sweden’s Migration Board (Migrationsverket) confirmed to The Local that a number of the asylum seekers had felt uncomfortable being surrounded by so much forest.
“Yes, that is the information we had from some people,” she said.
She explained that one of the buses had travelled to the holiday park from Stockholm, some 390km south of the park in Dalarna, while the other had arrived from elsewhere in the region …
Jacobsson said that the Migration Board understood that some of the refugees had since accepted places inside the holiday park, which has space for 50 individuals, but added that others remained unhappy with their new temporary home.
Some of the travellers are understood to have spent the entire night on the bus…
“We were coming to an area in the middle of the forest we know nothing about, just snow and wind and nothing else,” Esam Taha, one of the Syrian refugees aboard the bus recently told The Local.
But he said that he had gone on to make good friends in the area and planned to stick around.
Amazing. One is in a safe country. One does not have a home. One must accept shelter where it is provided.
In France, the Nouvel Obs has been tracing the fortunes of the Aldefaye family, refugees from Iraq. I haven’t read the whole series, but the headlines tell the story.
First, life in France is like Christmas, bringing with it much good news. A few weeks earlier, Mr Aldefaye was on television with President Hollande. Then, the family — living outside of Paris — received word they would have to move to Reims. Mrs Aldefaye wondered if she would be allowed to wear her headscarf there. Three family members are now in Reims. Their neighbours have been to visit most days, bringing with them food and household items. Mr Aldefaye is worried for his 20-year-old-daughter and her husband who live a short distance away; the young woman does not know enough French, he complained. He says they have not seen much of Champagne’s capital because it has rained a lot.
Europe. It has forests. It has wind. It has snow. It has rain.
It is difficult to know what to say in response. Migration. Is. Not. Easy.
For those who are interested, this map has an animated graphic of migration across Europe between 2012 and 2015. Data used are from the United Nations.