The Washington Post reports: Ibrahim’s odyssey has taken him over the hot sands of the Sahara and across the vast Mediterranean in a death-defying, thousands-of-miles-long quest.
Now the 21-year-old from the Sudanese region of Darfur is so close to his destination that he can see it shimmering on the horizon — his dream, his salvation, his England.
It beckons to him, and it taunts him.
If Ibrahim were a day-tripping tourist, a jaunt from this French port city across the English Channel would take 35 minutes in an underwater train. But because he’s an asylum-seeking refugee, getting to Britain means braving coils of barbed wire, clouds of tear gas and an illicit journey wedged between a truck’s axle and the racing pavement.
“It’s very dangerous,” Ibrahim said softly as he prepared for his latest attempt to cross. “Maybe I’m going to die.”
Whatever the risk, it has not deterred Ibrahim or the more than 2,500 other refugees who have made Calais their temporary home. Drawn from the world’s worst crisis zones, they are contributing to a new crisis in the heart of Europe, on the watery border between two of the planet’s most affluent nations. [Continue reading…]