The Süddeutsche Zeitung sent me and writer Phillip Mattheis to work on a story about an Iraqi refugee who got deported to Greece and has since then been homeless in Athens. We only got to spend two days in Athens, so I definitely plan on going back. I feel so fortunate to have support from the paper to work on something I care so much about.
The story will be published later this month and I'll post pictures of Ziyad, the Iraqi guy, after that. Until then, here are a few random images from Athens:
Even with my shaky math background, I was able to recognize some of the Greek letters, but otherwise I was baffled by this ancient language. I think it sounds a little like Spanish, not because the words are similar (not at all!), but because so many words and phrases seem to end in "a" "i" or "s" and the "r" is rolled. And I found it very musical, like Spanish or Italian, with the words flowing together.
Phillip takes a snooze high above the city. The weather was perfect: warm and sunny with a nice breeze. It was a nice change from Germany, where winter seems to have arrived.
Athens reminded me a tiny bit of Cairo actually. Traffic is chaotic, but the cars and taxis are nicer and newer models. Athens is dirty, but still cleaner than Cairo. It is apparent that Athens is a real mixture, with European and Asian influences, and of course visitors and migrants from all over the world.
The subway was one of the most confusing I have ever come across, but people were very friendly when we asked for help.