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Sweden: World’s most northern ski resort hosts hundreds of refugees04:17

Sweden: World’s most northern ski resort hosts hundreds of refugees

Sweden, Riksgransan
January 9, 2016 at 21:24 GMT +00:00 · Published

More than 600 migrants, mostly from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, have found temporary refuge in Riksgransan, Sweden, and could be seen thriving in their new environment at the world’s most northerly ski resort, 200 km (124mi) above the Arctic Circle, on Saturday. The Swedish government reached an agreement with one of Riksgransan’s hotels to house more than 600 refugees until mid-February, when the Lapland resort starts to host skiers and snowboarders.

Dozens of children have been playing in the snow at Sweden's northern ski resort while their parents have been watching them from the lobby of the hotel. Zaker Hossain Nabavi, a former trainer for the Afghan national boxing team, organised boxing lessons in one of the hotel's rooms in order to entertain the refugees.

According to the CEO of Lapland Resorts, Sven Kuldkepp, "the process started in October last year when Swedish authorities asked around Sweden if there were any places available for refugees. And since we had a cold and closed resort here because we always start like in the end of February we said, ok yes we are prepared to take refugees here to open a cold place to be a warm place then. So the process went very, very fast and as we all know the pressure in Sweden has been very, very big on finding places to live. So just in a couple of days we had basically 600 refugees coming in here".

Speaking of the problems the refugees faced, Kuldkepp said that some "experience a kind of a shock when they were sent so far to the north, but the resort’s team did their best to provide migrants with warm accommodation, food and even organised lessons of Swedish and English as well as entertainment like ski lessons and riding sleds." Syrian refugee Moaz Azzoo described the extremely cold temperatures, the lack of daylight and the isolation from Sweden’s major cities, as the biggest fear of the newly arrived refugees.

Sweden has received more than 163,000 asylum applications in 2015.

Sweden: World’s most northern ski resort hosts hundreds of refugees04:17
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Description

More than 600 migrants, mostly from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, have found temporary refuge in Riksgransan, Sweden, and could be seen thriving in their new environment at the world’s most northerly ski resort, 200 km (124mi) above the Arctic Circle, on Saturday. The Swedish government reached an agreement with one of Riksgransan’s hotels to house more than 600 refugees until mid-February, when the Lapland resort starts to host skiers and snowboarders.

Dozens of children have been playing in the snow at Sweden's northern ski resort while their parents have been watching them from the lobby of the hotel. Zaker Hossain Nabavi, a former trainer for the Afghan national boxing team, organised boxing lessons in one of the hotel's rooms in order to entertain the refugees.

According to the CEO of Lapland Resorts, Sven Kuldkepp, "the process started in October last year when Swedish authorities asked around Sweden if there were any places available for refugees. And since we had a cold and closed resort here because we always start like in the end of February we said, ok yes we are prepared to take refugees here to open a cold place to be a warm place then. So the process went very, very fast and as we all know the pressure in Sweden has been very, very big on finding places to live. So just in a couple of days we had basically 600 refugees coming in here".

Speaking of the problems the refugees faced, Kuldkepp said that some "experience a kind of a shock when they were sent so far to the north, but the resort’s team did their best to provide migrants with warm accommodation, food and even organised lessons of Swedish and English as well as entertainment like ski lessons and riding sleds." Syrian refugee Moaz Azzoo described the extremely cold temperatures, the lack of daylight and the isolation from Sweden’s major cities, as the biggest fear of the newly arrived refugees.

Sweden has received more than 163,000 asylum applications in 2015.

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