The Humans of Pikpa is a storytelling project about the residents, staff and volunteers that make up the community of Pikpa refugee camp on Lesvos island, Greece. The project was based on the ‘Humans of New York’ model (and other ‘Humans of’ projects), whereby participants share a brief, illuminating story about their lives. It was undertaken by volunteers towards the end of 2019. 

Since that time Lesvos has been afflicted by violent attacks on refugees, volunteers and premises used to support those affected by the crisis; the world has been racked by the COVID 19 pandemic that presents a disproportionate threat to those accommodated in overcrowded and unsanitary refugee camps. It seems even more important than ever now that people read the powerful, sorrowful and invariably, defiantly, hopeful stories of those involved in the refugee crisis, and join the campaign for sustainable action to alleviate the situation. 

Pikpa is an environment where people can find dignity, love, safety and respect. These are the values that underpin, and clearly emerge from, the stories in ‘The Humans of Pikpa.

“My dream would be for the problems to end in Syria and for us all to go back”   

“My dream would be for the problems to end in Syria and for us all to go back”  

I live in Pikpa with my mother and my father, but I have five brothers in Germany. I also have a sister in Syria. I am the youngest. I would be happy if I could go to my brothers. They left Syria before me. It is five years since I last saw them.

I have been Mytilini for a year and eight months, in Pikpa for a year and two months. The camp is very quiet. It is so different to Moria. I don’t have any problems in Pikpa. It is the best refugee camp in Greece.

I have many opportunities here. I am trying to learn English and German together. Sometimes I play football. Often, I help out in the kitchen. I have also been teaching some volunteers a little Arabic. I try to stay busy and pass the time.

In two or three years I would like to have my own family. Oh my God, thirty would be too old! If I found a girl here, though, I would not be able to travel. I could not get married here. I hope to go to Germany and find someone there. My dream would be for the problems to end in Syria and for us all to go back.

For now, the most important thing is that I see my brothers. I don’t need anything else.

Interviews by Tom Adams and Aud Steinsbekk / Editing by Tom Adams

Photo by Knut Tinagent








Sapfous 9, Mytilene
81100, Lesvos, Greece






Panselina Agioritou 1, Mytilene
81100, Lesvos, Greece  
Tel: (+30) 22510 62000