Global Studies Major Raising Funds for Refugees in Greece
Ayat Aribi, junior Global Studies and Economics double major with a minor in Arabic, is spending second half of her summer break working with refugees in Greece. Aribi spent first part of her summer in Freiburg, Germany on a study abroad program focused on European Union. However, unlike many of her peers who are spending the remainder of their summer traveling around Europe, Aribi has chosen to spend her time giving back to those most in need.
Aribi and several of her volunteer friends are living at the City Plaza Refugee "Hotel" in Athens, an abandoned hotel that houses around 400 refugees from various countries, about half of which are children. Aribi is joined by volunteers from around the world speaking an array of languages and contributing to the wellbeing of the people in various ways. In reflecting on her experience thus far, Ayat describes her time in Greece as follows: "We live in the same area as our refugee family, we eat the same food as our refugee family, we bathe in the same cold water as our refugee family, and we clean the home that we all share together."
Since arriving at City Plaza, Aribi has been teaching English to two groups of women and working with the kids on different activities. The people Aribi is working with are in a type of "limbo", living day by day, not knowing what tomorrow is like. Currently, the people at the 'camp' are at risk of not having enough food, baby supplies, or shoes for the kids. Furthemore, they are facing eviction by the hotel owner. The people who live at this abandoned hotel had previously lived on streets and this is the only shelter available to them.
As a refugee herself, Aribi knows the struggle and pain these people go through every day, and she is asking us to care and find a way to help these at risk families and people. Aribi reflects, "We are all human and what I've seen and heard while here, has left me shocked and heartbroken, even as a refugee myself." This gofundme effort is Aribi's contribution to City Plaza, and she is asking us to find generosity in our hearts to donate a few dollars to go towards the basic needs of her friends at City Plaza, to purchase food, repair the hot water boilers, and to buy some toys for the kids. Aribi plans to present funds collected to the economics coordinator for the hotel.