Civil war in Syria and the rise of ISIS in the Middle East triggered largest migration to Europe after World War II. More than a million people arrived to Europe by sea in 2015 and 85% of them crossed Aegean Sea from Turkish coast to Greek islands. The narrow stretch of international waters has been the most dangerous part of their journey, claiming nearly four thousand lives.

This story follows refugees and migrants from countries such as Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan (to name only a few) during their first days in Europe.

Father embraces his daughter after arriving from Turkish coast to Lesbos island on an overcrowded dinghy.

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Refugees arriving to Lesbos island on a rubber boat with Turkish coast visible in the background.

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Afghan refugees assist a family member as they reach Greek island of Lesbos.

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Volunteers comfort a refugee who collapsed shortly after arriving on Lesbos island.

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An elderly woman resting after arriving to Lesbos island on an overcrowded rubber boat.

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A pair of trousers left behind on the northern coast of Kos island.

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Refugees wait in line to register with local authorities in Moria camp on the Greek island of Lesbos. As the camp was overcrowded and its facilities overwhelmed, most new arrivals stayed outside the camp, often for days.

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Young men from Pakistan relax on the waterfront in Kos. Every refugee and migrant arriving to Kos island needs to register at police station to receive documents for further travel. It takes at least few days to process each application.

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Pakistani man waiting in line outside police station in Kos. Every refugee and migrant arriving to Kos island needs to register at police station to receive documents for further travel. It takes at least few days to process each application.

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Men, mostly from Pakistan, wait their turn during food distribution organized daily in Kos town by one of NGOs.

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Refugees gather in front of police station in Kos, where names of those who were granted travel documents are listed. Documents are necessary for further travel.

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Refugees taking the ferry from Kos island to Athens.

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Refugees stepping off the ferry in Piraeus port.

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Family of refugees moments before boarding the bus to Macedonian border. There is no schedule, buses leave the Piraeus port only when full. The journey takes about 8 hours and costs 45-55 euro/person, giving tour operators an extended season.

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Refugees seen on a bus heading for Macedonian border.

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