At the historic Place de la République in Paris, street artists have sought to use graffiti to tell the stories of some of the tens of thousands of migrants who have arrived in France over the past year, fleeing war and poverty back home

One such story is that of Tarakeel Khan, who was forced to leave his home in Afghanistan after being threatened by the Taliban.

“Today I see this painting. It’s good, it’s nice [that it’s seen] not just by me, but by the media, by all the French people,” Khan, who arrived in France about a year and a half ago, told FRANCE 24.

More than 79,000 people requested asylum in France in 2015, according to official data, the majority of whom came from Syria, Sudan and Iraq.

Aurore Cyrille, one of the artists at the Place de la République, said she hoped that those fleeing violence in their home countries find shelter in France.

“It’s a welcome for the refugees to Paris,” she said. “For the past month, we’ve been commemorating the terrorist attacks of November 13, and they’ve often had terrorist attacks in their own home.”

Over one million people entered the EU in 2015, in what has become Europe’s worst refugee crisis since World War II.


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