Albagir, a 22-year-old man who fled war in Sudan, and Katya, a 21-year-old woman who escaped war in Ukraine, crossed into Poland at the same time. But their disparate experiences over the next two weeks underscore the inequalities of Europe's refugee crisis.
Albagir was punched in the face, called racial slurs and left in the hands of a border guard who, Albagir said, brutally beat him and seemed to enjoy doing it. Katya wakes up every day to a stocked fridge and fresh bread on the table, thanks to a man she calls a saint.
Depending on which war a person is fleeing, the welcome will be very different. Ukrainian migrants can fly free across Europe on a Hungarian airline. They have been greeted by supporters waving Ukrainian flags in Germany. And they may stay in any E.U. country for up to three years.
But European governments have made it difficult for people fleeing conflicts in Africa and the Middle East to enter their countries — and sometimes use excessive force to keep them out.
Quotable: Watching the welcome for Ukrainians on a TV in a safe house in the Polish countryside, Albagir said he was almost in a state of shock. "Why don't we see this caring and this love? Why?" he asked. "Are Ukrainians better than us? I don't know. Why?"
Related: A family from India froze to death just yards away from crossing into the U.S. from Canada. Desperate migrants are trying their luck on the northern U.S. border.
Kris ~ Dreamweaver
15th March 2022.