Friday, July 31, 2015

food in refugee camp Gilze Rijen

Ideas gets a message from the AZC in Gilze Rijen. 

The people there get ready made food that's hardly edible instead of a budget to make their own food. Like in a lot of places elsewhere. They asked the mayor to help them. He threathened to withdraw their applications for a refugee status. Meanwhile the food ends up in containers. 

There has to be a simple solution.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Ideas says thanks


This shocking picture is on the Syrian WhatsApp group: a refugee hung himself in Berlin after his application for his refugee status failed because his fingerprints had been taken along the road to Germany. According to the 2nd treaty of Dublin a refugee has to apply for 

asylum in the first country of entry in the EU (where fingerprints have been taken for the Eurodac database).

Monday, July 13, 2015

royal palace

In this little column in an Amsterdam local newspaper someone wonders whether or not the former Dutch royal palace in the village of Soestdijk can be used as a refugee camp. It's been empty for a while now. 

Coincidentally Ideas already checked it out.

He's not impressed by the architecture but the rooms are spacious and the current state of maintainance of the palace is about the same as the other refugee camps. It will do. It's time for a royal gesture of a royal family that's for 90% built from foreign -blue- blood.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

trains from the south

Message from one of our readers from Munchen: trains from the south crammed with refugees. The police waits for them.

retour afzender

For once a Dutch post: the graduation work of Lou Muuse, about the procedure Ideas is about to start in a couple of weeks. look at the photo's of refugee camps in the Netherlands.

Thursday, July 9, 2015


We visit Ideas in the refugee camp.

He shares his building with a diverse group of people. With very different stories. Common denominator: horror. Like M. from Iraque, fluent in Russian, who during his adventurous life traveled until the Ukraine, lived there for a while, fled from the war to eventually flee from Libia. In the same boat from Libia was D. from Africa. Came in a van through the sahara. When his fellow travelers died of heat and thirst, the armed smugglers dumped the bodies from the driving truck to the side of the road. D. claims the sahara is even more dangerous than the Mediterranean Sea.
Detail of the boatride (confirmed by both): the, also armed, smugglers stash the Africans in the lower deck, where there's more heat (motor) and less air. The whites go on the upper deck with a higher chance of survival. They were all lucky: Frontex was waiting for them outside of the territorial waters of Libia to rescue them. 
On the photo the food ration in the camp: bread, slices of cheese and meat, fruit, drinks and one warm halal meal a day. Everybody offered to share with us.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015


This is the camp where ideas is spending his days now. The atmosphere is not bad, the facilities are old but there's enough space. 

There's one or actually two minor details: there are fighterplanes that fly over he camp very very low. 
The direct function of that eludes me. But it upsets many of the over a 1000 people in the camp. 

On top of that, as we posted before, there's a shooting range of the Dutch army very near. Every now and then they ratatata and scare the hell out of the already traumatized refugees.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

camp in the woods

The spokesperson of refugees in Germany contacts Ideas: they're in a camp in the woods near Roth

and the conditions are bad. 

He calls it worse than a prison with walls constructed of fences with plastic foil stuck to it.

 Ideas is depressed and gets philosophical. We all do sometimes.

Monday, July 6, 2015


Ideas goes to sleep late in the refugee centre. It's hot and it's quiet in the hallway. 

In a nightly chat session he tells me the story of his roommate who paid lots of money to be brought from Greece to the UK. 
After a long ride he was dropped in front of the refugee centre of Ter Apel in the Netherlands. He kept asking people: where he was.

We fly for next to nothing to every destination in Europe. Some people pay thousands to get somewhere the don't want to be.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

refugee camp from hell

A link from Jo van der Spek about the camp where Ideas has been detained in Greece. As we posted yesterday: the situation on the Greek islands is spinning out of control. A sustainable solution has to be found real soon.for the refugee crisis.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

thousands are sailing

While Ideas is struggling for wifi we get a comment on the column I wrote for the Dutch Amnesty magazine about the island where I met Ideas for the first time: Lesbos.
 The situation has worsened since we were there in the beginning of May. Literally thousands are arriving now every day on the beaches of Lesbos. The call for a solution gets louder.


Yesterday evening Ideas gets disturbing news from the Whatsapp group: the number of refugees at Calais is exploding. This morning this is news,

Thursday, July 2, 2015


While the focus is on the Greek crisis the refugee crisis goes on: Ideas is amazed by the busloads of refugees that arrive every day at the centre he's in. 

For the people that just come from a war zone, the Dutch government has a surprise: the centre is next to an exercise area of the Dutch military.'Then the people feel a bit more at home' , must have been the reasoning of the civil servant that decided this.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015


2 misunderstandings in 1 conversation from the somewhat depressing -from the looks of it- refugee centre.

 It's the Ramadan, and until now this was not a huge problem because although the days are long, at least it was nice and cool. Until yesterday.