MYTILENE, Greece– Late last year, Mohamad Hassan Atye arrived on the Greek island of Lesbos confused, lost and unsure.

“I heard the name of Greece just when we arrived here,” said the 24-year-old native of Afghanistan. “The police catch us from the sea, and they show us … a paper. They say, ‘We are here from Greece, and we are not Turkey,’ and that was the first time I heard the name of Greece.”

Atye works as an interpreter at Mosaik, a community center that teaches new languages to migrants in Mytilene, the capital of Lesbos. Finding a job allowed him to rent an apartment, which he said was much better than living in one of the island’s refugee camps.

“The life is not easy in the camp,” Atye said on July 11. The day before, migrants had rioted and set fire to the trailer of an aid group in the Moria camp, five miles down the road from Mytilene. Atye lived in Moria before he found a job as a translator.

Atye and other migrants who have found work as translators for aid organizations represent a rare bright spot amid gloomy employment prospects for recently arrived migrants in Greece. Many migrants have struggled to integrate into Greek society, according to interviews with more than a dozen migrants, aid workers, and experts on migrant integration.

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