I have been covering refugees and migrants for over 25 years. The difference this time was that migrants were arriving in my homeland.
A couple of boats arrived every night. Everybody aboard was scared as they didn’t know how the police and locals would react. Small dinghies kept on arriving, even when the weather was rough. The Turkish coast was just 4-5 km away.
To start with the migrants were scared, unsure. They arrived overnight because they were hiding. Each time they saw a photographer or a local they thought it was the police about to arrest them. Sometimes they got frightened and even “surrendered” occasionally, lifting their arms. I shouted welcome to reassure them. Once on land they started laughing and giving “high fives”. The atmosphere was charged with emotion.