EVAN and ARAM ABDULLAH KADIR: ‘I had to pay money to protect myself or they would have killed me’
There’s a Bradford City sleeping bag on the floor of the tent where Evan and her husband Aram are living with their two children Chiaya and Chenar. They fled Kirkuk after Aram was threatened by ISIS while he was working as a truck driver.
“I had to pay money to protect myself or they would kill. They stopped me, they took from me.”
The couple walked for six hours from Bulgaria to Croatia, carrying their children. They hope to find a better life for their family.
After ten days in the Dunkirk camp, Evan has no strategy, but a steely determination: “We need to leave as soon as possible, this is not a good life… We look forward to living in the UK.”
MIAN AZIM GUL: 'One day here is like a whole year'
59-year-old Mian Azim Gul proudly shows us his papers. He used to live in Bradford, where he worked as a van driver doing deliveries for farmers. After eight years in the UK, Mian says he returned to Afghanistan to pay debts. Then things got “difficult” with the Taliban, so he set off again for the UK.
We ask Mian about the difference between the Yorkshire he once knew and the camp he now lives in. “It’s like the difference between the sky and the earth”, he says. “Here it's so difficult that one day is like a whole year.”
Mian has two sons in London. He hopes they will be able to help him get to the UK.
MARWEN YUSEF: ‘I will try anything. By truck, by train, by anything’
Marwen has been in the camp for just a few hours when we sit down with him for tea. His wife and baby are thousands of miles away, near Damascus. A taxi driver by trade, Marwen made the journey by train, travelling from Syria through Turkey, Greece, Hungary and Germany before arriving this morning in Calais.
His dream? To reach the UK. “I will try anything,” Marwen says, “by truck, by train, by anything - I need to go there.” We point out he might have a better chance of claiming asylum in Germany. “I don't want to go to Germany because a lot of Syrians went there, the UK is peaceful with facilities.”
When we tell him the UK government has said it will not take people from the Calais camps, Marwen bows his head. We ask why he didn’t stay closer to home, he says he still believes he has a better chance of making it to the UK from Calais, rather than waiting in a camp in Lebanon,where he would be one of many vying to be selected. We point out that the journey will be difficult. He shrugs.
“I stay in Syria, is a danger, I try to go to UK, is a danger.”
Tonight Marwen will sleep on the floor. It will be more comfortable than the roadsides where he has spent the last few nights.