At 6:30am, the sun has not made its appearance yet and the border of Melilla’s Chinatown quarter is illuminated by the orange glow of street lamps.
The border crossing is a maze of wires and winches that convey a sense of unease and fear.
The six metre-high border fence across the road, contributes to the feeling of a hostile environment that surrounds Melilla, the tiny Spanish enclave in the northeast of Morocco. Ahead, on the Moroccan side, the murmur of distant shouts and blows can be heard.
At 6:45am the sound increases and moving silhouettes of nervous police officers can be seen on the metal structures. A large crowd gathers at the gates waiting to pass to the Spanish side. Moroccan guards shout and beat the people back from the entrance with wooden sticks. With every passing minute the blows and screams combine in a crescendo, like a symphony of noises and yowls.