ll in all, you realize that it is not the culture or the language that can be a barrier in communication, but vice verse the different traditions, different religion unite us. It is so interesting to observe the way the community plays the important role in the Afghan society, while we in Europe got used to the individualistic way of living. What I learned from the Afghan culture is to enjoy your time sitting on the floor, ground whatever you are doing: eating, talking, teaching and a lot more that can’t be even described in words.
If you take a train from Athens to Chalkida (a touristic place in Greece), you will pass through Oinofyta – a small town of approximately 6000 local people and about 600 people living in a refugee camp. Those are coming from a landlocked country in Asia where mainly people speak Dari which is close to Farsi. It is a war-torn Afghanistan – the country that brings terror to our minds once it’s pronounced out loud. Then you have an introduction for newcomers in the organization. You learn that Oinofyta is a place for approximately 600 refugees, majority of which are from Afghanistan and 10 people from Pakistan and Iran. The first thing you notice entering the camp is its name in Greek characters and walls painted in different colours.
After a month of being in the camp you can’t still realize how quick your volunteering was…Time flies by so quickly…But this month was so powerful, colourful, full of discoveries and putting yourself in different roles. You say good bye to the residents, being so grateful for the most important lesson you have learned: “Coexistence is possible”.
I experienced it on my own and I am glad to share it with those interested. I hope that it can be used to influence the xenophobic behaviours in Europe and prove that refugees should be welcome.
I would like to share my experience of intercultural dialogue and read the stories of others. What is more, it can be the way of contributing to the migration policies and be a motivation for others to come and volunteer in humanitarian aid provision.