“As Syria Implodes, Europe Braces for a Spiraling Refugee Crises,” by Charlotte McDonald-Gibson for Time Magazine:
The bird shot gave Chinois his scars. Perched on a Moroccan mountain lit only by the full moon and orange glow from a tiny corner of Europe below, he pulls up a trouser leg to show the holes pockmarking his knee. The metal pellets he managed to dig out are kept in a grubby handkerchief in his pocket. The others remain buried in the young Cameroonian’s flesh, hobbling his walk.
Coils of razor wire caused the badly-healed gash on Rodrigue’s thigh. It is surprising he does not have more: in the three years he has lived on the mountain, he has faced the towering fences, razor wire, pepper spray and pellet guns 13 times in an attempt to get into Melilla, a patch of Spanish territory on the northern Moroccan coast. And 13 times he has failed, picked up by Moroccan police and dumped at the Algerian border, only to trudge back to the slopes of Gurugu and wait for the opportunity to make another dash over one of the few land borders between Africa and Europe. “I will keep trying until I get to Europe,” says the 32-year-old, who is also from Cameroon.
He is one of tens of thousands of migrants and asylum-seekers massing at the gates of Europe. Many are on an illegal quest to breach a border for economic reasons. But joining them are increasing numbers of Syrians, Egyptians, Tunisians and Malians fleeing turmoil at home after the optimism of the Arab Spring turned into a reality of unrest and repression…