“You know what they awoke in the darkness of Khazad-dûm…”
For the men, women and children forced to call Moria their home, the refugee camp is a daily battle for survival in conditions so desperate that even the Greek migration minister has warned they could be life-threatening.
And why are they ‘forced to call Moria their home’? Because they left their homes, in an attempt to get into Europe.
“Moria [is] very bad,” says Saleh Alhussein, a Syrian refugee, explaining that it took days before a doctor could properly attend to a wound on the head of his baby son, Mohammed. “There are holes in our tent. This isn’t Europe.”
It is, hopefully, the only part of it you’ll ever see.
Lesbos’s mayor, Spyros Galinos, has for months been issuing increasingly panic-stricken appeals for the camp to be decongested.
Officially inmates are free to come and go. Unofficially, says Galinos, it is a “national disgrace”, a giant detention centre where drug dealing, alcohol abuse and prostitution are rampant and clashes between rival ethnic groups rife.
“I’ve run out of ways of describing conditions that are beyond deplorable,” he says.
“I recently compared what they are doing here to Guantánamo but of course I’ve never been to Guantánamo. Perhaps concentration camp would be better.”
Funny, I must have missed the part in modern history at school where the Jews fled other countries to get into concentration camps…
Refugee anger is spiralling, but so too is exasperation among locals who at the height of the refugee drama saw more than 800,000 people traverse the island.
Foreigners, he says, now constitute a third of the population of Mytilene, Lesbos’s main town, and he knows many who are afraid to venture out at night.
Yes, clearly, these are people we must let into Europe. Look what they bring to the table!
Though the numbers are far lower than they were at the height of the crisis in 2015, boatloads of people continue to land on Lesbos’s shores. Most are fleeing areas that were Isis-controlled strongholds in Syria and Iraq.
Little Trojan horses, every one. Surely the Greeks of all people aren’t going to fall for this one?
Standing beside the camp’s razor wire–topped inner courtyard, where asylum requests are processed, Said Asidi attributed the explosive mood to the frustration of waiting for a notoriously slow-moving system.
The 45-year-old Afghan acts as the interface between his community and authorities and has spent almost two years waiting for an answer to his asylum request. “I have no idea why,” he says. “I’ve had three interviews, my last six months ago, but still no decision.”
No-one wants to make that decision – like all bureaucracies, they keep delaying in the hope the problem will resolve itself. But it won’t.
The simple fact is no-one wants you in their country. Except the fanatical open borders lunatics, who are busy insinuating themselves wherever these wretched places spring up, pushing their poisonous creed:
Andrew Foley, an Irish volunteer, is is far from optimistic.
“Moria undermines everything Europe stands for. If you keep people in conditions like this, if you rob them of hope and condemn them to suffer, nothing good will come of it.”
Frankly, Europe would be better off offering asylum to the Balrog…