22 drivers from 11 countries to race for glory at 2022 Diriyah E-Prix    Korean concert of Stray Kids canceled due to bad weather    Britain Records 10,069 New Infections of Coronavirus    Kuwaiti Prime Minister Receives Qatari Foreign Minister    GCC Secretary General Stresses Importance to Serve Requirements of GCC Joint Market    Infection Control Department at IMC recognized as 'center of excellence'    Representatives of Arab Financial and Civil Aviation Authorities Hold 12th Meeting    MHRSD: 5,000 Saudi men and women join marketing jobs in 2 months    Joint Incidents Assessment Team in Yemen Refutes Number of Claims Raised by Global Bodies and International Organizations    Unified Call Center for Premium Residency soon    Microsoft for Startups celebrates GrowthX Accelerator's first cohort graduates from across MENA    Saudis in the camps of Iran and Hezbollah    EU must focus on climate, tech and security, Macron says    Korean President tours Riyadh Metro project    Female referee becomes first to take charge of AFCON match    MISA opens 6 international offices to promote 'Invest in Saudi'    Saudi woman gives birth to 5 sets of twins    Andrea Bocelli to return to AlUla's Winter at Tantora    KSrelief Assistant Supervisor General Meets Norway's Special Envoy for Yemen    KSrelief Distributes 18 Tons of Food Baskets in Sudan    KSrelief Signs Two Cooperation Agreements with IOM to Support Yemen with USD 20 Million    'Nobody told me' Downing Street party broke COVID rules, Johnson says    Korean President visits historical Turaif District, Diriyah Museum    Korean President Visits Station of Riyadh Metro Project    WHO expresses hope worst of Omicron wave is over    Egypt Records 1303 New Cases of COVID-19    Aramco Signs 10 Agreements During Saudi-Korean Investment Forum    SAIP, KIPO Sign an Advanced Strategic Partnership in the Field of Intellectual Property    2022 Winter Enrichment Program focuses on 'Resilience' in key sectors    Diriyah gears up for Formula E live music concerts as first day line up announced    Lewandowski crowned best FIFA men's player 2021    SFDA: Fat is a Source of Energy and Its Abundance is Linked to Chronic Diseases    Djokovic three-year visa ban could end early, says Australian PM    Two Saudi Players Participate for First Time in Winter Games    Secretaries General of Local and Regional Federations in Asia Concludes Conference    SAMF President Highly Commends Saudi Arabia Dakar Rally 2022    Makkah Governor Patronizes Closing Ceremony of Saudi Arabia Dakar Rally 2022    Reflections on celebration of Christmas    Royal Commission for AlUla to Hold Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Endurance Cup 2022, Richard Mille AlUla Desert Polo    Saudi Arabia's Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai Organizes a Dance Theatrical Show for Children    Saudi Arabia rebuffs UN resolution on 'sexual orientation'    Kabir Khan eyes on joint Indian – Saudi film projects    Saudi Film Commission Announces Incentives for Local and International Producers    Bollywood superstar Salman Khan to dazzle Riyadh Season on Dec. 10    Pilgrims Perform Dhuhr and Asr Prayers at Arafat Holy Site    Council of Senior Scholars: Muslim Brothers' Group Don't Represent Method of Islam, rather only Follows its Partisan Objectives, Violating our Graceful Religion    Eid Al-Adha Prayer Performed at the Grand Holy Mosque    Pilgrims Perform Dhuhr and Asr Prayers in Arafat Holy Site    

Thank you for reporting!
This image will be automatically disabled when it gets reported by several people.

Frozen, homeless: Migrants struggle on Belgrade streets
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 12 - 12 - 2016

Inside an abandoned Belgrade warehouse, its walls blackened with smoke, several dozen youngsters huddle together under blankets in a bid to fend off the freezing temperatures as the Serbian winter sets in.
Most have left home and family in Pakistan and Afghanistan to seek safety or work in Europe, but have found themselves caught in stateless limbo as successive European nations have slammed shut their doors.
"We are waiting for Christmas Day. Maybe they will open the borders," says Waseem Afridi, a 23-year-old Pakistani stuck in this frigid cul-de-sac on the path to the European Union.
About 1,000 migrants are sleeping rough in downtown Belgrade, the UN refugee agency says, many settling in the warehouse squeezed between the central railway station and a luxury apartment construction site on the Sava river bank.
During the night they brave temperatures falling below zero degrees Celsius (32 degrees Fahrenheit).
"It is getting colder every day," says Afridi who comes from Pakistan's tribal areas bordering Afghanistan.
The acrid air inside the warehouse irritates eyes and throat. For heat, the migrants burn whatever they can find.
The lucky ones put carpets on the glacial concrete, while others use cardboard.
Those who get up from their blankets, tired-looking, try to warm up with a hot tea and eat some bread.
Those first up head towards two fuming barrels filled with heated water to wash up.
The young men, some of whom are still teenagers, refuse to go to one of the 13 official reception centers which accommodate some 5,300 people, according to the Serbian refugee agency.
Serbia lies on the so-called Balkan route that has been taken by hundreds of thousands of migrants from the Middle East, Asia and Africa since 2015.
The route was effectively shut down in March, but migrants have continued
to cross the region in smaller numbers, often brought there by traffickers.
Mohamed Darwich, from eastern Afghanistan, said he does not want to go to a reception centre because the authorities "will send us back to Bulgaria where again we will have to pay money" to smugglers. Darwich, who said he is 17, started his journey a year ago. It cost him 7,000 euros ($7,380) obtained from the sale of his family's land.
Others finance their journey by selling livestock or shops.
Some have tried to cross illegally into Croatia or Hungary, which unlike Serbia are EU member states.
"They caught us near the border. They beat us and sent us back," claims Ihsan Ullah, a 15-year-old Afghan.
Ullah says Serbs treat them better. His desired destination is London where he has an uncle who has financed his odyssey.
It is not possible to verify whether their stories that could enable them to obtain refugee status are true.
Afridi says that in Pakistan he took part in polio vaccination campaigns that displeased the Taliban.
Hashim Zia-Ulhaq, traveling with his two younger brothers from eastern Afghanistan, claims that back home he was accused of having worked for a road construction company cooperating with Westerners.
In any event the 25-year-old feels he had no other choice but to leave.

Clic here to read the story from its source.