During that time when Greece was being threatened to be kicked out of the European Union for not paying its debts, the image of the country I had received in my mind through the media was a really dark one. I don’t know how but I imagined dire poverty and people not finding food products in the supermarkets to eat.
Then the influx of migration from war-torn middle east countries started and again, as Greece is the door to anti-refugees Europe of the news, the country has been painted as not welcoming, racist and even poorer now because of the refugees.
While it may be true that the numbers and economic situation are not ideal, coming to Greece myself significantly changed this image around. While being here, my home city Brussels lived some moments of heightened alert and fear as has been reported everywhere. Yet I knew too well by now that the situation in Brussels is not as bad as the news would make it sound. So I could assure friends and family who wrote me to check if am alright, that yes, Brussels and I are alright!
Greek people, as far as my two weeks experience with them is concerned, are very warm and welcoming, so much so I was absolutely and pleasantly surprised. Their food is good too and they are very generous with it.
What’s downplayed in the news, however, is the situation with refugees stuck in the borders here. If not for a number of humanitarian organisations trying to help and take care of these people, even more of them would be drowning in the sea, more children and helpless humans would be hungry dying in the cold of the winter while sleeping between but the sky and the earth. But that’s not making enough headlines of course.
Don’t let the news easily distract you from what’s reality next time. This is not the first time it happens and probably won’t be the last. We gotta learn how to receive our information and not just how to send it.