24 Jul, 2018 @ 11:30
1 min read

IN PICS: Fears and hopes of migrants arriving in southern Spain

Felipe Passolas
PREVENTATIVE MEASURES: Guardia Civil maritime rescue service saves 80 people from the Alboran Sea. Port of Motril ©FelipePassolas

DESPERATE, hungry, but full of hope, these are the migrants who have fled war, violence and poverty in search of a better life in Europe.

This remarkable set of images, captured at ports in Granada and Almeria this month, shows the determination of migrants – mostly young men – to provide a better life for their families.

And they’re not soldiers being sent by ISIS or Al Shabab, as many right wing commentators would have you believe, but brothers, fathers and sons, burdened with the responsibility of finding a job and a home before the rest of the family attempt to make the perilous journey across the straits of Gibraltar or the Alboran sea.

“Some of them burst into song when they arrive,” Granada photographer Felipe Passolas, 39, who captured the images, told the Olive Press. “Others kiss the ground of the port.”

But most look confused, having arrived in a country they do not know, surrounded by police officers.

“They have no idea what will happen to them, they are entering the unknown,” continued Passolas, a former banker, who has worked as a photographer in both Iraq and Syria.

Just this weekend alone another 1000 migrants arrived on our Spanish shores, as the route across the Straits continues to become the fastest growing option, with Italy and Malta making their progress more complicated.

Luckily for them, Spain is one of the most welcoming countries in the world. And more so now that new Socialist prime minister Pedro Sanchez is in power.

In a recent Gallup Poll, the country was revealed as the 17th most welcoming for migrants in the world and the 7th in Europe, coming just behind advanced democracies like the Netherlands, Luxembourg and Sweden.

With a migrant welcoming index of 7.44 (out of ten), it was way ahead of 38th placed UK, which had an index of 6.61.

Given Europe’s alleged role in causing the migrant crisis, Passolas argues it’s only right that we treat them with humanity and respect.

He poignantly added: “The fact is they would rather die trying to be a nobody here than stay in their home countries.”

Laurence Dollimore

Laurence has a BA and MA in International Relations and a Gold Standard diploma in Multi-Media journalism from News Associates in London. He has almost a decade of experience and previously worked as a senior reporter for the Mail Online in London.

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