• Refugee Biriyani & Bananas

Rita’s Message : A Syrian Refugee Child Neglected by the World

Updated: Aug 24, 2020

Part 2 in a 3-part Series Following One Syrian Refugee Child


An account written by Ruhi Loren Akhtar in June 2016 whilst volunteering in Greece.


‘Six months we’ve been on the borders of : Greece, Macedonia, Serbia and now Hungary. Displaced and homeless. Each refugee spits on all the world leaders and their governments for their slogans and empty statements.’

Rita at the Serbia-Hungary Border. Photo Credit : Guevera Nabi. All Relevant Permissions Sought to Share Image.

Kelebia is an area at the border between Serbia and Hungary on a railway crossing. In June 2016 thousands of people crossed and were stranded there, waiting to cross into Hungary. As Hungary had closed the border approximately fifteen people trying to seek asylum in Western Europe were allowed to pass daily and there was around 400 more people waiting, and many more arrived daily. The process is long and soul breaking especially when they had already crossed oceans and jungles, mountains and barbed wire to get there in the first place.


The conditions were extremely poor with a lack of sanitation, medical care and rubbish strewn all around. Journalists were not allowed to document in the area and humanitarian aid providers limited . Do you remember Rita? Our 11 year old friend from Syria, in one of our previous story pieces? The girl who just wanted a safe place to live and the rights to an education? In June 2016, She was there for 17 days!

Unsanitary Living Conditions at Kelebia. Photo Credit : Guevara Nabi

At Kelebia, Rita poses with her new message to the world in protest, she says:


‘Six months we’ve been on the borders of : Greece, Macedonia, Serbia and now Hungary. Displaced and homeless. Each refugee spits on all the world leaders and their governments for their slogans and empty statements.’


And why shouldn’t she condemn our world leaders?


A world which advocates the universal declaration of human rights. Yet the human rights of all thousands of displaced people worldwide has been violated in every possible way and we can’t even come up with a global solution to help, with many turning a blind eye!


Don't forget to read the final installment of this 3-part series following Rita and her family to see where they are now.

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