Authorities in France have started to demolish part of the refugee camp in Calais known as the ‘jungle’. Estimates as to the number of people who could be affected range from 800 to 3,455. With nowhere else to go, refugees could relocate to the camp at Grande-Synthe, near Dunkirk, where conditions are even worse than Calais. Bryar, a nurse from Iraq, is among the thousands of refugees already living in Grande-Synthe.
In the last 18 months, Bryar has stared at death on more than one occasion.
Certain death was the reason why he fled Iraq. He almost perished aboard a sinking inflatable boat in the Mediterranean. Upon reaching Europe, only scavenging for discarded food kept him from starvation.
And now the 27-year-old nurse is in the midst of a squalid camp in northern France with little protection from the winter.
Yet his story of tussles with death is not special or unique. It is the norm. Talk to anyone at the Grande-Synthe camp and they will all tell you similar tales.