Nea Kavala, Greece— “We weren’t expecting to be here very long,” Ayhan, a 28-year-old from Afrin, Syria, says, as she sits with her husband, Hozan, on a porch made of wood pallets outside their modest tent in the Nea Kavala refugee camp in northern Greece.
“I only have two changes of clothes,” she continues, pouring coffee into a row of baby-food tins that have been repurposed as coffee cups for impromptu guests. “What I’m wearing right now, and what I wore when I crossed the sea in February.”
Everything was going smoothly until the recently married couple reached the Macedonian border in March, and were told to wait in the Greek town of Idomeni—at the time, a sprawling refugee camp full of people trying to cross the border. Eventually, they were told that the border was closed and were evacuated to Nea Kavala—a former Greek military base outside the small northern town of Polykastro. Now, they are sharing a modest tent with Ayhan’s uncle, Mohammed; his wife, Alaa; and their two daughters. Occasionally they receive visits from a local red-haired stray cat, which they have jokingly named Angela Merkel.
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