Refugees, Belgrade

17 Oct

Virtual Vita Nuova

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-You can’t tell who is craziest: the refugees, the police or those women, said a local shopkeeper.  He made a cross over his chest, to express his sincere Serbian bewilderment.
He had just witnessed ten shabby Afghan and Syrian refugees walking past, escorted by ten Women in Black from Serbia, Italy and Spain, themselves escorted by ten policemen and a police car.
By the railway station in downtown Belgrade,  the temporary citizens-from-nowhere are living their nomad existences in the the rubble of  the so-called Belgrade Waterfront construction project.   The refugees loiter all day, hoping for something to happen, between the city bus yards and huge trash-cans full of boxed food that the aid workers supply on a regular basis.
Around five pm there is a kind of tea ceremony where about 800 people gather, most of them arriving from the organized camps where they sleep.   They arrive to be…

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