The serious , the satirical & the somewhere inbetween !
Tuesday, June 28, 2016
Syrian Refugees In Greece 'Put Their Tent On Airbnb', Promising Scorpions, Dehydration And 'Broken Promises'...
A group of Syrians has advertised the tent they are living in on Airbnb, in an ironic dig against the miserable conditions they are experiencing in a camp in Greece.
In the advertisement, the Syrians say they have been living for three months in a tent in a refugee camp in Ritsona, north of Athens, and invite visitors to come and live with them, promising scorpions, dehydration and poor sanitation.
“This is a real opportunity to experience life as a Syrian refugee,” the advertisement said. “While EU politicians talk about refugees, you can have an authentic refugee experience – tents, wood-fire cooking, 41 degree heat, marginal sanitary situation, friendly scorpions, broken promises, even dehydration.”
The post, which appears to be heavily ironic, promises that “long-term stays always receive a generous discount – please inquire!”
Prospective visitors are advised that they can access “free parking” as well as portable toilets, which are used by 600 refugees.
“If you are lucky you might get one of the two hot showers. There is a large vacant lot where the toilets are, which the children use as a playground. Please join in the games.”
Schooling and medical help is available “rarely”, the post says, “but for a short-term stay you will be fine; just imagine if you had to stay here for the past four months.”
The refugee camp, an hour’s drive north of the Greek capital, is described as “the most unique neighbourhood in Greece”.
It was not clear who posted the ad, which was written in good English. It was later removed from the home rental website.
In a statement, Airbnb said it had removed the listing because it was "not permitted under our terms of service".
The company said that it appreciated that the listing was an attempt to highlight "the heartbreaking refugee crisis" and said that it had raised "hundreds of thousands of dollars" for UNHCR in an attempt to deal with the situation.
The firm said that relief workers with organisations like the International Rescue Committee and Mercy Corps were entitled to book free accommodation in the areas they are working.
More than 800,000 refugees and migrants, many of them Syrians and Iraqis, arrived in Greece last year after crossing in small boats and dinghies from the coast of Turkey.
The majority of them reached northern Europe after trekking along the so-called Balkan Route from Greece into Macedonia and through Serbia and Hungary to Austria and Germany. But the route was closed in March, stranding more than 50,000 refugees and migrants inside Greece.
Earlier this month the medical aid group Medecins Sans Frontieres announced it would no longer accept funding from the EU in protest at its "shameful" migration policies, including the Turkey deal.
Founded in 2008, Airbnb is based in San Francisco. Millions of people use the service to find shared accommodation around the world.
“Whether an apartment for a night, a castle for a week, or a villa for a month, Airbnb connects people to unique travel experiences, at any price point, in more than 34,000 cities and 191 countries,” Airbnb says on its website.