National Geographic – Refugees Life Above the Arctic Circle

National Geographic, January 2016, has unique and interesting reportages with professional photographs.

A ski resort in Swedish Lapland is not where one would expect to find 600 refugees from Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria. One hundred of them are children and they’re now adjusting to life above the Arctic Circle. Nor did the refugees expect to be seeing their first snowfall and figuring out the proper time to pray in a place where the sun hardly shines in winter and always in the sky in summer. But for these asylum-seekers, Riksgränsen offers an interim solution on the path to a permanent home. This ski resort Riksgränsen is in Swedish Lapland not far from the border with Norway. Its guests now, though, are not skiers enjoying the slopes—they’re refugees fleeing conflict.

In October, when there were 10,000 refugees entering Sweden each week, government officials called the resort to ask if he would be interested in opening it for asylum seekers. Once the government made a decision, things moved quickly as Sweden is organized country with well-established routines in this context. The government gives the resort 350 Swedish Krona (less than $41) per person per day—much less than a ski guest would pay. “We basically did it to do something good,” Kuldkepp says, the resort manager. See What Life Is Like for Refugees Above the Arctic Circle:


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