Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Haunting Scenes of Refugees in Munich, Germany #refugeecrisis, #Syrian, #middleeast, #munich, #syrianwar

We are in Munich, Germany during the refugee crisis -- referring to the rush of Syrians, Iraqis, Afghans, and others fleeing conflict areas to find asylum in this city of 1.4 million. In September, the refugees were met by locals with enthusiasm, which quickly dampened with fears of a clash between the newcomers and Oktoberfest revellers. The borders between Germany and other countries were closed, slowing down the entry of refugees.

As we walk around the heart of Munich, I see many people from the Middle East. There are women with their heads covered, a few of them in black with their faces covered. There are some who seem comfortable as they shop in the gallerias, and I assume they are not refugees. But I have seen others who I think could be refugees. 

One night as we walked along Marianplaz, two young Arabic men and a woman passed us on their bikes, the sound of Arabic music floating from one of them. 

There are young Middle Eastern families with children in strollers, and today at the train station I saw two men and a woman, in their twenties, holding up the line as they tried to figure things out.  

The image that haunts me is the group of four eating from a pot on the sidewalk. There was a woman among them, in her fifties perhaps and wearing a long dress, looking like a picture of a Yazidi woman, although I do not actually know her origin. I only know they had found a corner on the sidewalk of Bayerstrasse near the train station and they sat on their haunches to eat. 

Scenes like these give me wonder, make me curious, but I can't stare, nor can I ask them, for fear of being rude. Neither have I asked the Germans around us what they think; I feel this topic is very sensitive now and could draw strong responses. I assume there are those who feel compassion for the displaced refugees; and there are those who fear them. We only talked about the refugee crisis with an American couple, tourists like us, who had come from Salzburg and warned us that the border between Germany and Austria is closed and there could be surprises. Their train stopped at the border and they were bussed on to Salzburg.

It is getting cold here in Germany, but refugees continue to try to enter the country. They will have a difficult time. 

Here are some pictures taken at the City Center. There is one with Lauren and a bronze statue of Juliet and following the custom here, he rubbed her right breast for good luck.

We leave for Salzburg tomorrow, so stay tuned!

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     This is all for now,

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