Muslim Peace Fellowship at Ritsona Refugee Camp in Greece

In November of 2016, Muslim Peace Fellowship members Susan Smith and Sherly traveled to Ritsona Refugee Camp in Greece to volunteer for one month with Echo100Plus, an Austrian NGO with Greek ties.The NGO urgently needed help with Arabic interpretation services and the distribution of meals, clothing, shoes and hygiene items from its warehouse at Ritsona Camp. Their appeal came at a time when the Assad regime and Russia were decimating Aleppo and other regions of Syria; and ISIS had just retaken control of Mosul in Iraq, causing successive waves of exodus to Turkey, Greece, and other regions. With the support and blessings of MPF and others, Susan and Sherly responded to their call and have since returned safely to share some of the vicissitudes of human suffering and triumph that they witnessed. While it was heartbreaking to see refugees subjected to rationing and receive inadequate food, water and clothing even at the refugee camp, it was also humbling, heartwarming and inspirational to see so many triumph in the face of adversity. Their prevailing memory is one of wonderful compassionate human beings grateful to God to be alive. In addition to sharing time with camp residents, who often invited them into their homes for tea, Susan and Sherly worked with a diverse corps of Echo100Plus volunteers.  Two of them, Arielle and Jacob, who are Jewish, were engaged at the Camp in a Islamic ceremony attended by Syrian Arabs and Kurds and a variety of friends of the Abrahamic faiths. This engagement party was indeed the first of it’s kind, and yet a typical MPF  moment.

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