Stuck in Limbo, These Muslim Men Are Turning to Prostitution, and Grappling with Guilt
Inside a refugee camp in Greece, where Afghans take desperate measures to feed their families — and their hashish habits.
Photos by Stav Dimitropoulos
Nine months ago, Tabaan, a 33-year-old refugee from Afghanistan, was sitting on a bench in the park separating the Elliniko detention camp in Athens, Greece, from the nearby coast, when a man approached him. “Fifty-five he must have been,” gauges Tabaan, who lived at the camp until it was evacuated earlier this month. “He nodded at me. I followed out of curiosity. Then, he hid behind a tree and took off his underwear. ‘Come, I’ll pay you,’ he whispered, waving a 20-euro-note in my face. I’d run out of money, and needed my hashish dose desperately, so I did it. Some pay 30, even 50.” Tabaan is one of several Muslim men from the camp — all completely straight, they insist — who have charged male clients for sexual encounters. Their names have all been changed here for their safety. This took place in a park less than 100 yards from the Elliniko camp where they and 700 other migrants and refugees, mostly from Afghanistan, were living. They used the money to bu…
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