City of the Sun: A new life for refugees in Greece

6 April 2018

Murtaza, a refugee from Afghanistan, lives a new life with his family in Greece supported by CAFOD's partner Caritas Hellas.

Murtaza, a refugee from Afghanistan, lives a new life with his family in Greece supported by our partner Caritas Hellas. 

The increased number of refugees and migrants seeking hope and a new life in Europe is largely a consequence of humanitarian crises around the world. The majority are fleeing conflict in Syria, Afghanistan and elsewhere. However, most people on the move are from poor countries, and seek safety in nearby developing countries or within their own country’s borders.

Refugees like Murtaza, from Afghanistan, each have a story to tell. 

In solidarity with refugees taking these journeys, we invite you to read about Murtaza's journey. Share his story and inspire people in your community to do a Share the Journey walk.

Read more about the Share the Journey campaign.  

“We want a safe life”

Murtaza and his family first arrived in Greece two years ago from their home country, Afghanistan. They fled their home to remove themselves from the fighting and to keep their children safe.

In his message to people in the UK, Murtaza said, “…I wish you could help us. We didn’t come here for the money, most people here came to save their children’s lives. We want a safe life – nothing else.”

For the past two years, Murtaza and his family were living in Thiva camp on mainland Greece, however, in November 2017, they were resettled into safe accommodation by UNHCR. The family now share an apartment with another refugee family from Afghanistan in the southern suburbs of Athens, in Illioupoli – ‘The City of the Sun’.

Take our refugee quiz to find out how much you know about the refugee crisis.

A hopeful future

I worked in Afghanistan for three years for [the] World Food Programme. I want to find a job. I tried to apply when I was in the camp but I couldn’t find one. I am hopeful to have a normal life. 


Murtaza’s children, Farkhana, aged 4 and Leena, aged 9, also started school near their new accommodation. Leena’s very happy to be at school and her favourite subjects are Greek, Maths and English. “When I grow up I want to be a teacher”, she says.

The family now plan to stay in Athens for the long-term and applied for asylum over two years ago. They have completed all the stages of seeking asylum and now they must just wait. All the family want to learn Greek and they understand the importance of learning a language.

Our local partner Caritas Hellas is providing ongoing support to Murtaza and his family.  They have suggested Murtaza take part in the different lessons and courses on offer, such as language lessons, training for job seekers, photography and computer skills.

Walking with refugees like Murtaza

You can Share the Journey by joining our global campaign to walk 24,900 miles. This is not just any walk, this is a walk around the world.

The walks are a chance for you and people in your community to take time out to reflect on the stories of migrants and refugees like Murtaza, around the world, as well as to share with each other the journeys that we have taken ourselves.

So why not organise one today?

Organise a Share the Journey walk

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