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In 2015, hundreds of thousands of refugees landed on Greece's island shores.One night in December 2015, a local group of Islamist extremists petrol-bombed Shabbir's neighbor's home and waited outside for the fleeing family.Picked up off the coast of Lesbos, he was brought to the Moria camp.Refugees like Shabbir faced a minimum of nine months before their first encounter with any official who would receive their asylum application. Within the camp, a small makeshift office, surrounded by more barbed wire and hundreds of despairing refugees, would admit one or two per hour for their first interview. A year after Shabbir arrived on Lesbos, and three months after his first interview, his asylum application was refused and a deportation order was issued.If that meant that the EU would end up bribing Erdogan with several billion euros in order to violate international legislation protecting refugees like Shabbir, so be it.In September alone, another 2,238 refugees arrived in Lesbos, despite Turkey's attempts to cut the flow. Some 2,500 years ago, the poet Sappho of Lesbos wrote:George Tyrikos-Ergas is a folklorist living on Lesbos, where he co-founded AGKALIA, an internationally acclaimed grass-roots team working with refugees.
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