Worlds apart: 24 hours with two refugees in Poland

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Since the warfare successful Ukraine started connected February 24, much than 3 cardinal Ukrainians person fled crossed the borderline to Poland. The Polish authorities and nine mobilised rapidly to guarantee that Ukrainian refugees were made to consciousness welcome.

Ukrainians are entitled to person an archetypal 300 zloty ($67) stipend and tin registry for a nationalist recognition fig (PESEL) that enables them to entree the aforesaid healthcare and acquisition services arsenic Polish nationals. Ukrainians besides person the close to enactment and are provided escaped lodging for astatine slightest 2 months.

But they are not the lone refugees successful Poland.

In the eastbound of the country, on the astir 400km (249-mile) agelong Polish-Belarusian border, asylum seekers, refugees and migrants are trapped successful a forested country patrolled by borderline guards. When they marque it out, they are often taken to detention centres oregon pushed backmost to Belarus.

Non-Ukrainian refugees and migrants are often vilified by politicians and successful Polish authorities media and barred from receiving help, leaving lone a dedicated and secretive web of section activists, who hazard up to 8 years’ situation time, to supply them with aid.

To spot however conditions successful Poland disagree for Ukrainian refugees and those coming from countries similar Iraq, Sudan and Yemen, Al Jazeera followed 2 radical – 1 Iraqi Kurd, the different Ukrainian – who some beryllium to families with young children, for 1 day. Here are their stories:

The aboriginal hours of the morning

Hawar Abdalla*: It was conscionable aft midnight connected March 21.

Hawar, a gentle, softly spoken Iraqi Kurd successful his aboriginal 30s, and the radical helium was with had recovered a spread successful the borderline obstruction and managed to gaffe into Poland from Belarus successful the dormant of night.

It was the past throes of wintertime and the snowfall connected the wood level had melted during the day, leaving a muddy sludge that made it hard to locomotion without slipping portion making their mode done dense forest.

The radical were successful Poland for conscionable 30 minutes earlier the torchlights of 4 heavy equipped Polish borderline guards appeared among the trees. Hawar and the others crouched connected the ground, but a beam of airy soon recovered them, and a dependable shouted: “We spot you.”

Before the crossing, Hawar had felt optimistic. If their radical of 12, including six children, remained quiescent and moved slowly, helium believed they stood a accidental of evading detection.

But arsenic the guards approached, Hawar felt the aforesaid question of sadness and disappointment arsenic erstwhile helium had been caught and pushed backmost to Belarus during his archetypal and lone different borderline crossing effort 4 months ago.

He began to outcry quietly. By stopping the refugees, the borderline guards “ended my dreams, particularly my imagination of reaching Europe”, helium says.

In the dark, the stony-faced guards were an intimidating sight. The condensation from their enactment mixed with the agleam lights of their torches arsenic they told the radical to hold for the police.

One pistillate defender appeared to beryllium moved by the show of the crying young children. She tried to comfortableness them with immoderate chocolates, but they backed distant from her, acrophobic of the ample firearm slung implicit her shoulder.

Tasha Kyshchun: A small implicit 2 weeks later, astir 500km (311 miles) away, the greeting prima streamed done the room skylights successful a cosy third-floor flat connected the outskirts of Krakow, Poland’s second-largest city.

It was 7:15am connected April 8, and Tasha, a petite pistillate with an elfin look framed by abbreviated acheronian hair, shuffled astir the room making breakfast.

The 33-year-old prepared cereal with beverage for the children and immoderate breadstuff and yoghurt for herself.

Seated astatine a gingham tablecloth-covered array successful the kitchen, the household tucked into breakfast.

Since fleeing Ukraine, Tasha’s children, Ustyn, seven, Maiia, five, and Solomia, three, person not been sleeping well.

They person been wetting the bed, and Solomia has started biting her mother’s arm. Tasha thinks she is stressed aft the traumatic determination but is excessively young to articulate her feelings properly.

An illustration of 3  radical   sitting astatine  a table, 2  of them children and 2  Ukrainian flags successful  the background.[Richard Smith/Al Jazeera]

Before Russia’s penetration of Ukraine, Tasha had been consumed by a consciousness of foreboding. From aboriginal February, she and her hubby Taras, 37, who some tally a kindergarten successful Sofiyivska Borschagivka, a colony successful northwestern Ukraine, had been practising warfare drills with their students and staff.

The children recovered it amusive to fell successful the basement. “For them, it was a game. But 2 of our teachers, who fled from Donetsk and Luhansk erstwhile warring started determination successful 2014, recovered it precise painful. After the drills, they would instrumentality immoderate pills to calm down,” she recalls.

On the greeting of the invasion, Russian bombs started falling adjacent their home. “We were frightened and shocked. Although we had prepared for it, we couldn’t judge that Putin would beryllium truthful anserine to commencement this war,” she says.

Living adjacent to a subject airfield, which they believed would beryllium a Russian target, the mates decided to permission for Taras’s parents’ location successful Lutsk successful occidental Ukraine.

They told the children they were taking a abbreviated trip. While Taras covered the flat windows with tape, Tasha and the children packed their bags with conscionable 2 sets of covering each. “Ustyn knew what was going connected much than the girls,” she says. “His hands shook erstwhile helium helped to transportation our things to the car.”

Hawar: When 2 constabulary officers arrived successful achromatic tops and subject camouflage trousers, the children and women cried, begging them to fto them go.

Two men successful the radical began to situation the borderline guards’ orders to travel the police. One defender mislaid his temper and started shouting, twigs cracking nether his dense boots arsenic helium moved towards them.

Hawar, who had the champion grasp of English successful the radical and was translating for the others, suspected that the defender was adjacent to beating the 2 men.

With a calm demeanour, helium persuaded the men to comply.

Giving mode to resignation and fatigue, the radical made their mode to a autobus that had arrived astatine a adjacent road.

Hawar, his chiseled curly-haired quiff unchanged contempt a nighttime sleeping rough, clutched the belongings helium had to spot him done the clip successful the forest. He had immoderate dates, chocolate, bread, 3 apples, a fewer tiny h2o bottles, and a sleeping bag.

The radical had spent a time and a nighttime successful the wood earlier uncovering an opening successful the borderline fences. Hawar, who had taken work for the occurrence that had kept them lukewarm during the acold night, had not slept.

So erstwhile they arrived astatine the constabulary presumption successful the aboriginal greeting hours earlier the prima had risen, helium handed implicit his telephone astatine the petition of the serviceman successful complaint and instantly fell dormant connected the floor.

Tasha: Around 8am, Tasha and the children washed the dishes. “I punctual them that this is not our house. We person to beryllium considerate,” she says, arsenic she enactment the plates distant and made definite the descend was empty.

After spending a fewer days successful Lutsk, Tasha, having work astir Russian saboteurs hiding weapons successful children’s toys, decided that it was not harmless to stay, and sought refuge successful Poland connected March 3.

A Ukrainian person successful Krakow recovered them a country supra a kindergarten successful a residential country afloat of nondescript cream-and-brown houses.

Taras stayed successful Lutsk, wherever helium cares for his begetter who has crab but is incapable to get immoderate attraction astatine the moment. He spends his days volunteering, delivering essentials to those who person taken up arms with Ukraine’s Territorial Defence Forces.

An illustration of a pistillate   holding a child's enarthrosis  adjacent   a achromatic  door.[Richard Smith/Al Jazeera]

After tidying, Maiia and Solomia, who be the kindergarten 1 level down, kissed their parent earlier heading inside.

A fortnight aft arriving successful Poland, the caput teacher offered them places successful the class. Their classmates drew a insubstantial dove successful the colours of the Ukrainian emblem and stuck it to the doorway to invited them.

Solomia, the youngest kid successful her people and initially shy, warmed to her peers aft they celebrated her birthday. Maiia, who is much gregarious, has been speedy to marque caller friends.

Ustyn’s schoolhouse is simply a 20-minute locomotion away. Studious and shy, helium was truthful anxious astir being successful a caller situation that helium recovered it hard to spell to schoolhouse successful the archetypal 2 weeks aft enrollment. “I didn’t privation to unit him,” Tasha says. But seeing his sisters set has encouraged him to go.

Hawar: Hawar had travelled with an Iraqi Kurdish household helium met successful the wood and attempted his archetypal crossing into Poland with them successful November 2021 erstwhile thousands of chiefly Kurdish refugees and migrants had tried to cross into the European Union from Belarus.

During this time, the EU, NATO and the United States had accused Belarus’s authoritarian leader, Alexander Lukashenko, of orchestrating the situation by encouraging the travel of migrants and refugees arsenic a signifier of retribution for EU sanctions imposed connected the person aft his disputed re-election successful 2020 and subsequent crackdown connected wide pro-democracy protests.

Poland, announcing a authorities of exigency successful the region, hastily created a meandering 3km (1.9-mile) wide exclusion oregon “red zone” connected the borderline and banned NGO workers and journalists from entering the area.

Polish borderline guards past engaged successful pushbacks of radical to Belarus. Belarusian guards often bushed migrants and refugees and forced them backmost into Poland, leaving them successful limbo, often without nutrient and essentials. At slightest 19 radical person died successful the wood since the standoff began. Most froze to death.

In December, the situation appeared to dissipate arsenic radical were allowed retired of the “red zone” and backmost into Belarus with immoderate repatriation flights organised by the Iraqi government.

But for Hawar and galore others, returning location was “not an option”.

He says helium fears governmental retribution if helium returns to the Kurdish portion of Iraq owed to his disapproval of the ruling elites implicit a deficiency of employment opportunities caused mostly by governmental corruption and nepotism.

“I can’t judge that I should beryllium acrophobic of my ain thoughts and told however to live,” helium says.

In 2005, the Kurdish portion of Iraq was recognised arsenic an autonomous portion nether the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) aft decades of governmental unrest and brutal repression, including the 1988 Anfal genocide, wherever astatine slightest 100,000 Kurds, chiefly civilians, were killed by Saddam Hussein’s troops.

Today, contempt being affluent successful lipid wealth, the portion suffers from a precocious unemployment complaint (around 24 percent for men betwixt the ages of 15 and 29) portion authorities employees tin spell months without being paid wages. Civilians are killed “if they explicit dissatisfaction”, Hawar says, referring to brutal crackdowns against radical protesting against corruption and unpaid wages. “Meanwhile, politicians and their families proceed to summation their wealth.”

But staying successful Belarus meant the commencement of an arduous 4 months successful a Bruzgi logistics installation – overcrowded, squalid impermanent lodging acceptable up by the government, wherever astir 1,500 radical slept successful assigned areas among rows of pallet racks successful a warehouse.

In the camp, Hawar became adjacent to a household – consisting of parents, a relative and 3 girls – with whom helium has present attempted 2 crossings. He says they person go an adopted household to him.

“We are not related by blood, but we are present each a household here, truthful we volition not permission each other,” helium says.

“The girls are similar my sisters oregon daughters,” Hawar says, his fondness for them evident arsenic helium describes their personalities arsenic bubbly, affable and occasionally naughty. “They are blessed girls. They are ever playing and singing, successful particular, the ram sam sam opus they learned successful the camp.”

Two of the girls, aged 4 and six, person a uncommon and superior progressive aesculapian information that causes tissues and organs to enlarge, go inflamed oregon scarred, and yet discarded away, resulting successful aboriginal death. The girls necessitate play aesculapian attraction and, incapable to spend their specialised healthcare, the household felt forced to permission their homeland to effort to entree attraction successful Europe.

Despite the monotony and discomfort of their surroundings, Hawar and his adopted household created a caller beingness for themselves.

An illustration of people, some  children and adults, sitting successful  a ellipse  connected  the level  with a partition  of cubbies with children sitting successful  them connected  some  sides of the image..[Richard Smith/Al Jazeera]

Hawar became a unpaid teacher alongside United Nations Children’s Fund workers allowed to entree the camp. “It was precise tiring,” helium says. “It was six hours each time of teaching, but it was truthful bully for me, and it was important to beryllium busy.”

The makeshift schoolhouse that Hawar and 5 different volunteers created offered classes successful psychology, maths, English, singing, dancing and painting. Colourful pictures painted and drawn by the children covered the schoolroom walls.

Hawar became known arsenic “mamosta Hawar”, teacher Hawar successful Kurdish, a nickname that the girls inactive usage erstwhile referring to him. Whenever helium and the volunteers went astir the camp, the children hugged them.

Tasha: At 9am, Tasha started to cleanable the bedroom. The bedding is brightly patterned and children’s apparel with cartoon prints beryllium piled successful a corner.

“I cried each time for the archetypal 2 weeks,” she says, successful a measured tone. “But I effort not to bash it successful beforehand of the children. It’s not bully for them.”

Today is simply a uncommon time off. Usually, 1 oregon much of the children is excessively anxious for schoolhouse oregon down with a cold, oregon she has to settee administrative paperwork specified arsenic her family’s PESEL application.

Last week, Tasha earned immoderate wealth cleaning the windows of a Polish acquaintance. Work isn’t casual to travel by, particularly with truthful galore Ukrainians successful the state now, and less jobs than determination are people.

Tasha is hesitant to hold to a longer-term role. She desperately hopes that the household tin instrumentality location by the summer, and besides doesn’t privation to deprive idiosyncratic other of the accidental to work.

Most Ukrainian refugees are women and children, and the Polish parliament astir unanimously adopted a caller instrumentality to enactment them by giving each kid 500 zloty ($111) per month. Tasha hasn’t yet applied for these benefits, arsenic she’d similar her household to proceed supporting themselves.

For now, they’re surviving arsenic thriftily arsenic imaginable disconnected their savings, which they had been hoping to usage for their archetypal household vacation to Egypt. Before the war, Tasha and Taras had been jointly making astir 50,000 Ukrainian hryvnia ($1,700) per period from their kindergarten business, backstage lessons and play enactment readying for young children. The mates worked 12 hours a day, including weekends, but Tasha seldom felt similar it was exhausting. “I truly loved what we had,” she says.

They’re inactive paying their unit their salaries, but with nary jobs, the fiscal strain of their concern is looming implicit them.

Tasha is saddened erstwhile she thinks of her kindergarteners, galore of whom are inactive successful Ukraine. One of the girls she taught has a begetter who was warring to liberate the metropolis of Bucha and has not been successful interaction with him for 3 weeks. “I outcry a batch erstwhile I deliberation of her,” she says.

Around 10am, Tasha went connected societal media, identifying radical successful Ukraine who request each kinds of assistance – beryllium it securing a spot to enactment extracurricular of the country, oregon getting indispensable supplies – and directing them to her web of contacts successful and retired of the country.

The quality is ever unspeakable erstwhile she reads it. The Russian service is accused of raping and sidesplitting much than 400 civilians successful Bucha – conscionable 50km (31 miles) distant from the family’s hometown – and surrounding towns successful March. “I person galore friends successful Bucha, and I consciousness fearfulness that the aforesaid happening could hap to our village. When I learned astir the women and girls who’d been raped, I couldn’t picture my emotions. They [the Russian army] are conscionable creatures, not people. I commune they are punished, and I commune for bid and healing,” Tasha says with choler and sorrow.

Hawar: At 10am, Hawar woke to a stern-looking constabulary serviceman unlocking the doorway to the country wherever they had spent the night.

In the acold airy of day, Hawar took successful the bare achromatic walls and a tiny model that looked onto immoderate railway tracks and a river. It was freezing cold, and the radical had huddled unneurotic connected the floor. They had been brought a atom crockery during the night, but nary 1 could place what it contained, and the children refused to devour much aft tasting it.

The acheronian grey tracksuit and overgarment that Hawar wore hung escaped connected his usually stocky frame. He had mislaid 10kg (22lbs) successful the Bruzgi camp.

The constabulary serviceman led them into a dank hallway wherever helium placed an authoritative papers up against the partition and told them each to “sign it”. Hawar could archer it was written successful English and Kurdish languages, but earlier helium could work it, the constabulary serviceman pulled it distant from him.

Hawar asked to work it, but again the short, middle-aged serviceman refused and raised his voice.

On March 21, the Bruzgi campy was closed, forcing people, who were notified lone a fewer days successful advance, to take betwixt attempting to transverse the borderline oregon returning to their homeland.

Since Hawar and his adopted household felt returning to Iraq was not an enactment for them, a time earlier the campy shut, they acceptable disconnected to effort to participate the EU again.

Now, successful the constabulary station, galore successful the radical grew agitated, fearing that they would beryllium pushed backmost to the forest. They begged to beryllium taken to a detention centre wherever they could perchance statesman an asylum process. The serviceman grew progressively angry.

After attempting to work the papers a fewer times, Hawar and the different adults felt they had nary enactment but to motion it. They were not capable to work its contents. Later, they would find retired that the papers stated that they had agreed to beryllium returned to the Belarusian border.

An hr later, subject cars arrived astatine the constabulary presumption to cod Hawar and different detainees who were not portion of their group. Hawar asked the constabulary officers if they were going to the detention centre, and to his relief, they replied, “yes”.

It was astir noon, astir 12 hours aft they had entered Poland, erstwhile Hawar and his adopted household climbed into the backmost of subject cars that sped disconnected down a nondescript state road.


Tasha: Pulling connected a airy parka implicit her striped sweater, and a chapeau implicit her hair, Tasha chopped a forlorn fig arsenic she headed to the exile reception centre successful the mediate of Krakow. She hoped to get a conduit of toothpaste and immoderate foodstuff for the children. “Taras and I decided to springiness astir of what we had – including our toothpaste – to the Ukrainian army,” she tells me.

On the tram, Tasha heard Ukrainian being spoken. Ukrainian refugees tin instrumentality transport for escaped astir the state if they person a stamp connected their passports showing they arrived aft February 24.

Television screens connected nationalist transport displayed translations of elemental phrases successful Polish and Ukrainian – a bid by the authorities to assistance refugees consciousness much astatine home. But this doesn’t marque Tasha consciousness immoderate better; it lone aggravates her consciousness of being marooned successful a overseas land.

Over the people of the day, Tasha expressed her gratitude for the Polish authorities and its people, though she is apprehensive astir their generosity petering out. “I deliberation they’re giving much than they tin spend to. Once radical spot that we mightiness beryllium present for a agelong time, they’ll get sick of it. It’s lone normal,” she says.

A small aft midday, Tasha had collected the fewer items she needed and near the reception centre. If she wants a blistery meal, determination are restaurants astir the metropolis providing nutrient for Ukrainian refugees, but she prefers to navigator astatine location erstwhile she’s hungry.

A car blared its horn loudly connected the street, making Tasha jump. Loud sounds person frightened her since the warfare began. She says that Maiia is besides terrified of planes, believing that they’re Russian craft sent to termination them. “I support telling myself and the children that we’re successful a harmless spot now,” she says.

As it was her archetypal escaped time successful a while, Tasha went connected a locomotion astir the city. It was sunny and warm, and the streets bustled with lunchtime crowds arsenic Tasha wandered around. The information connected her telephone didn’t enactment decently truthful she got mislaid and was often disoriented. On weekends, Ustyn and Maiia instrumentality work for navigating.

Taras called her briefly. On video, helium showed her a furniture covered with apparel and supplies that helium planned to thrust to the Territorial Defence Forces. Driving betwixt cities is usually unsafe arsenic cars tin travel nether attack, thing Tasha prefers not to deliberation about. “I person a precise progressive imagination,” she says, laughing nervously.

At 4pm, Tasha picked Ustyn up from school. He was successful bully spirits, showing her a comic portion helium had drawn. “Today I tried a caller benignant of bread, and I learnt the Polish connection for ‘milk’,” helium told her arsenic they walked home.

They arrived home, picking up the girls on the way.

Hawar: Relieved and exhausted, Hawar and his adopted household were relaxed arsenic the cars made their mode on the bumpy state roads. Less than 30 minutes later, Hawar saw the borderline fences flanked by razor ligament and the well-beaten footpath patrolled by borderline guards. He realised that the constabulary officers had lied to them.

A crushing consciousness of disappointment and choler gave mode to panic. People began to cry. The 3 girls, usually truthful assured and playful, fell silent; they understood that they were each heading backmost to the cold, damp forest.

A constabulary serviceman shouted astatine the radical to get retired of the vehicles, but they refused, asking to beryllium taken to a detention centre. Instead, the serviceman pulled a antheral successful his 60s retired of the car by his legs. He landed connected the level successful pain; his woman remained crying successful the car.

“Get retired of the cars, oregon we’ll unit you out,” shouted the policeman.

At this point, everyone realised that they would person to bash what they were told. They stepped onto the muddy ground. The policeman handed them copies of the documents they had been forced to sign, on with their phones, earlier aggressively directing them into a constrictive no-man’s onshore connected the border.


Tasha: Back successful the kitchen, meal consisted of fried food and herb crockery provided by the kindergarten for everyone successful the apartment.

At dinner, the children pulled books from the shelves. Most of these books were donated and were successful Polish oregon French. The children didn’t recognize the stories, truthful they conscionable made sounds portion pointing to the illustrations, oregon said the names of objects successful Ukrainian. Ustyn enjoyed moving connected the fewer Ukrainian textbooks his parent had brought from home.

An illustration of a pistillate   sitting successful  a seat  successful  beforehand   of 3  beds with children successful  them.[Richard Smith/Al Jazeera]

Tasha packed the leftovers and enactment them successful the freezer. They’ll devour these for days, cautious not to discarded immoderate food. “All Ukrainians cognize astir Holodomor. Not finishing our nutrient is simply a sin,” Tasha says, referring to the Great Famine of 1932-1933 that killed millions of radical successful Soviet Ukraine.

Taras rang astatine 5:30pm. There was nary aerial raid siren today, truthful helium could telephone his household arsenic helium didn’t person to beryllium successful a shelter, wherever reception is poor. They chatted connected video astir their day, and the children were besides capable to spot their grandparents.

Afterwards, Tasha enactment connected a Ukrainian acquisition cartoon for the children portion she cleaned the communal staircases.

Later, if Tasha has time, she’ll cheque successful connected Taras again to marque definite he’s safe.

Hawar: Two rows of fences divided the forested landscape, leaving betwixt them a 100-metre-wide (328 feet) buffer zone, a no-man’s land, wherever Hawar and his adopted household would beryllium forced to past connected dwindling supplies and portion yellowish h2o from the streams and rivers.

For 4 months, they had endured beingness successful Bruzgi camp, travelling erstwhile a week to a infirmary with the 2 girls for their indispensable treatment, successful the hopes that they could scope the EU.

In the end, they were lone capable to enactment a nighttime and a greeting successful the EU earlier being near to languish connected Poland’s northeastern border.

It was mid-afternoon erstwhile they were allowed backmost into Belarus. The Belarusian borderline guards understood that the household wouldn’t past agelong if they didn’t get immoderate nutrient and remainder so, successful a uncommon show of sympathy, they organised transport to a sprawling subject basal nearby. The subject unit astatine the basal paid small attraction to the exhausted family; they assumed they would either instrumentality to Minsk and beryllium repatriated oregon instrumentality to the borderline country wherever Belarusian guards, arsenic portion of what was dubbed a run of “hybrid warfare” against Poland, proceed to let refugees and migrants in.

In the aboriginal evening, a car arrived to instrumentality them to Minsk, but the household asked to beryllium dropped disconnected astatine a tiny state location successful a colony adjacent the metropolis of Grodno successful the country’s west. Hawar had managed to put a abbreviated rental from a section interaction helium had met astatine the campy with the small wealth helium inactive had.

They knew they couldn’t enactment agelong successful the country. The six-month Belarus visa that they had purchased successful the KRG was owed to expire successful a mates of weeks.

The children’s father, who was successful his aboriginal 30s, was suffering from terrible kidney symptom caused by dehydration by the clip they arrived and had to beryllium helped to bed. Hawar, bushed and disheartened, mustered the small vigor helium had to assistance navigator immoderate food. After eating, inactive wearing soiled clothes, sometime earlier midnight, everyone fell asleep.

Tasha: The children had a saccharine bedtime snack – a contented successful the Kyshchun household. Then they took a ablution and got acceptable for bed.

It was astir 8pm. Before speechmaking the children a bedtime story, Tasha asked them to speech astir the things they were grateful for successful the day, and however they tin assistance different radical successful need.

The children were excited to spell to an lawsuit successful a parkland the pursuing day.

Along with different volunteers, they would beryllium cleaning the parkland arsenic a motion of appreciation to Poles for receiving them with unfastened arms.

After putting the children to bed, Tasha had immoderate quiescent clip to herself. It had been a agelong day, and she looked a spot weary, but she inactive wore an look of determined optimism. She reminded herself to recount the small things that person brought her joy. “I archer myself this won’t beryllium forever,” she says. “We’ll spell location someday.”

Hawar: After a two-day respite, Hawar and his adopted household returned to the buffer portion lone aft Belarusian borderline guards had aggressively pushed the men successful the radical and deed them with closed fists. Guards searched the group, taking immoderate wealth they found.

They spent 8 days there, appealing to Polish borderline guards connected the different broadside of the obstruction to fto them done arsenic their constricted supplies ran out. In the cold, damp environment, the children’s aesculapian information began to worsen. Without capable nutrient oregon water, they recovered it hard to determination and spent time and nighttime successful their tents.

An illustration of a structure   with 2  radical   sitting extracurricular  it with a fire.[Richard Smith/Al Jazeera]

Hawar pleaded with the Polish guards for nutrient and water, but they were indifferent, adjacent laughing astatine them. By the eighth day, everyone was critically dehydrated – including the girls, who were successful urgent request of aesculapian treatment. Their begetter was inactive suffering from kidney pain.

Hawar opened their structure that greeting successful beforehand of a radical of guards who “just laughed astatine us”, helium recalls sadly. “We had to spell backmost to Belarus.”

After imploring the Belarusian borderline guards, they were allowed backmost into the state truthful the children could person aesculapian treatment.

They are present successful the comparative information of Minsk, the capital, but with their visas acceptable to expire, they look deportation to Iraq. Hawar indispensable program to instrumentality to the border.

Roughly 200km (124 miles) southbound of wherever Hawar was pushed backmost into Belarus, Poland’s borders with Ukraine stay unfastened to the millions of Ukrainian refugees escaping the horrors of war. The jarring opposition betwixt the attraction of non-European and European refugees is not mislaid connected Hawar.

“What hurts america truthful overmuch is the favoritism made by Poland betwixt america and Ukrainian refugees.”

*Name has been changed to support the individuality of the interviewee

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