When Hungary violently closed its border this week to refugees streaming in from Syria, people took to social media to find another way out. Using their phones, refugees charted a course to Croatia, whose leaders have pledged to welcome them.

William Booth, writing in the Washington Post, captures the scene:

“We hit a stone and we flow around it,” said Arazak Dubal, 28, a computer programmer from Damascus, who had been on the road for 18 days.

He and his three companions reached Belgrade only to discover on Facebook and WhatsApp that the Hungarian border was closed to refugees.

“So I went to Google Maps, and here we are,” said Dubal, huffing in the hot afternoon as he trudged across the farm fields.


Many of these refugees worked in tech-related jobs in their home country. And, according to Booth, they heard about Croatia opening its borders purely by checking into social media apps on their phones.

Croatian authorities have allowed refugees to flow into their country, but most of them will continue to journey further west seeking jobs and greater political freedoms.

[via Washington Post]

Contact the author at annalee@gizmodo.com.
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