The past two evenings, I have visited my friends in the Hotel City Plaza to celebrate Eid, the Muslim holiday marking the end of Ramadan. After a month of fasting, people are dancing, eating sweets, and sending happy selfies to loved ones around the world.
Last night, my friend’s two children (who are already speaking English, Greek, and a bit of German) pulled me onto the dance floor, where the music alternated between Syrian and Afghan music. Between dancing and constant offerings of more dessert, I also got the opportunity to meet more people in the squat, including several Syrians who have learned excellent English since arriving in Europe, volunteers from Greece and around the world, and a new mother holding her 12-day-old baby.
The atmosphere was very fun, with a sense of community and connection between Syrians, Greeks, Afghans, Iraqis, locals, and foreigners, showing each other dance steps, while many people there took breaks to call and wish their family back home Eid Mubarak on skype. The evening for me was a great example of inclusiveness and the resilience of the individuals in this new community. A great way to spend my last few nights in Athens!