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  • flee

    If the earth were flat, ras ajdir surely would mark the end. A sea of men had gathered here on the border between tunisia and libya: migrant workers, some still wearing hard hats or vests furnished by the companies that had employed them in the petroleum and construction industries of libya. Now they waited for hours, maybe days, with everything they owned on top of their heads. They slept rough on the ground, about one hundred meters from the border fence, tying their synthetic blankets to tree branches. As another group was let across the border by the tunisian authorities, they would join the wandering men. Eventually many were transported to a unhcr-delegated refugee camp seven kilometers sown the road in the middle of the desert. The refugees fleeing the unrest in libya were all migrant workers, tens of thousands of them-bangladeshis, ghanaians, filipinos, somalis, sudanese, and vietnamese. As the sun set, some from the makeshift bonfires filled the chilly march air…they gathered around, wrapped in synthetic, flower-patterned blankets that had been handed out by tunisian volunteers. Many had been robbed of their possessions either by gaddafi’s soldiers or the rebel militia. I suppose they didn’t care much who the thieves were, as they found themselves refugees fleeing a war that was not their own, having moved heaven and earth to migrate to a anew home. It seemed simple: one moves to another country seeking greater opportunity and pay, sending earnings back home to family members and saving for a better future. Many had already fled war; the somalis found themselves two-time refugees. Others found themselves trapped.

  • The majority of refugees which have remained just over the border from Libya were some 30,000 Bangladeshis which were lined up at the camp in the early morning in what seemed like was a preparation to board buses that would take them to the UNHCR constructed camp, just 7 kilometers off of the border into Tunisia. Instead, the mass of refugees were made to walk the entire distance with all their belongings.
  • Refugees bathing in the early morning just over the border with Libya in Ras Ajdir, Tunisia.
  • Tunisian volunteers at a UNHCR constructed refugee camp, just 7 kilometers off of the border of Libya in Ras Ajdir, Tunisia.
  • An Egyptian family crosses the border from Libya into Tunisia with all their belongings, seeking asylum.
  • A man sneaks onto a bus from the opposite side of the line as authorities struggle to maintain order. Refugees boarded buses headed to the airport in Djerba which departed from the UNHCR supported refugee camp 7 Kilometers from the Ras Ajdir border with Libya.
  • Refugees wait in a food handout line at a UNHCR constructed refugee camp, just 7 kilometers off of the border of Libya in Ras Ajdir, Tunisia.
  • Refugess wait for hours to be let through the border with Libya and Tunisia in Ras Ajdir. Refugees flooded the western border of Libya after weeks of unrest and the threat of civil war plagued the country.
  • Ablaziz, 22 years old from Ghana makes a meal for he and his friends at a UNHCR constructed refugee camp, just 7 kilometers off of the border of Libya in Ras Ajdir, Tunisia.
  • Bangladeshi refugees wait for buses which will take them to the Djerba airport to be repatriated, at a UNHCR constructed refugee camp, just 7 kilometers off of the border of Libya in Ras Ajdir, Tunisia.
  • Andwar Hoshem of Bangladesh clears the leaves from a tree branch in order to use it to plunge water from a hole in the ground to use for bathing at a UNHCR constructed refugee camp, just 7 kilometers off of the border of Libya in Ras Ajdir, Tunisia.
  • Fortuna and her baby Sharmake, Somali refugees in a UNHCR constructed refugee camp, just 7 kilometers off of the border of Libya in Ras Ajdir, Tunisia. Somalis are now 2 time refugees as they are fleeing the war in Libya, a place where they had originally found refuge from the ensuing violence within their own country.
  • Bangladeshi refugees bath at a UNHCR constructed refugee camp, just 7 kilometers off of the border of Libya in Ras Ajdir, Tunisia. Over 10,000 Bangladeshi refugees had remained at the camp after having fled Libya amidst ensuing violence.
  • Somali refugees who have nowhere to go as they are refugees of war for a second time at a UNHCR constructed refugee camp, just 7 kilometers off of the border of Libya in Ras Ajdir, Tunisia.
  • A man lies in a tree at a UNHCR constructed refugee camp, just 7 kilometers off of the border of Libya in Ras Ajdir, Tunisia.
  • A refugee packs his few belongings to head towards a bus he is taking to the Djerba airport at the UNHCR supported refugee camp, just 7 kilometers off of the border of Libya in Ras Ajdir, Tunisia.
  • Refugess wait for hours to be let through the border with Libya and Tunisia in Ras Ajdir. Refugees flooded the western border of Libya after weeks of unrest and the threat of civil war plagued the country.
  • Sandra and her mother from Nigeria, look out over a UNHCR constructed refugee camp, just 7 kilometers off of the border of Libya in Ras Ajdir, Tunisia.
  • A somali refugee arrives at a UNHCR constructed refugee camp, just 7 kilometers off of the border of Libya in Ras Ajdir, Tunisia. Somalis are now 2 time refugees as they are fleeing the war in Libya, a place where they had originally found refuge from the ensuing violence within their own country.
  • Refugees faced extremely cold nights, sleeping outside with no more than blankets and home made fires, just over the Libyan border in Tunisia. Many who were able to boarded buses headed to the airport in Djerba for being repatriated back to their countries.
  • A man prays among his fellow refugees from Ghana who are awaiting their passports in order to be repatriated back to their country at a UNHCR constructed refugee camp,just 7 kilometers off of the border of Libya in Ras Ajdir, Tunisia.
  • Bangladeshi refugees protest, pleading with their government to send airplanes, as well as for food and water at a UNHCR constructed refugee camp, just 7 kilometers off of the border of Libya in Ras Ajdir, Tunisia. Over 10,000 Bangladeshi refugees had remained at the camp after having fled Libya amidst ensuing violence.
  • An Egyptian migrant worker collapsed from a diabetes condition after crossing the border from Libya to Ras Ajdir, Tunisia.
  • Libyans listen in on a a meeting between Libyan Border Police and Khaled K El-Hamadi, head of an NGO, The International Organization For Peace, Care and Relief, the only NGO in Libya. The NGO is the only one with access to migrant detention centers and works frequently on migration issues in the country. Mr El Hamadi spoke to members of the press, proclaiming that Libya was quite peaceful and the images on television had been substituted from earlier footage of the war in Iraq from 2006.
  • An Egyptian Refugee on a bus headed to the airport waves to other refugees left behind in the UNHCR supported refugee camp 7 Kilometers from the Ras Ajdir border with Libya.
  • Bangladeshi refugees wait for their passports to be handed out in order to be repatriated to their country at a UNHCR constructed refugee camp, just 7 kilometers off of the border with Libya in Ras Ajdir, Tunisia.
  • Refugess wait for hours to be let through the border with Libya and Tunisia in Ras Ajdir. Refugees flooded the western border of Libya after weeks of unrest and the threat of civil war plagued the country.
  • Primarily Egyptian refugees air out their blankets in an area just over the border from Libya in Ras Ajdir, Tunisia where they are stranded.
  • Refugess wait for hours to be let through the border with Libya and Tunisia in Ras Ajdir. Refugees flooded the western border of Libya after weeks of unrest and the threat of civil war plagued the country.