When the migrant crisis started, about three years ago, it was seen as a mainly Syrian affair. Caught in the crossfire between Bashar al-Assad and sundry jihadist groups, ordinary Syrians were heading for Europe, part of the largest mass movement of people since the second world war. But as we now know, that analysis was wrong. Or rather, it was only one facet of the historical migration phenomenon that was unfolding then and still is today.
As a reporter, I hit the migrant trail, following the new arrivals by foot, bus, train and ferry through the Greek islands and the Balkans. I heard many languages besides Arabic, among them Pashto, Urdu, Bengali and even French (spoken by a Congolese family I encountered at the Serbian--Hungarian border).