Monday, June 24, 2013

Refugee Stories, World Refugees Day,2013

The Tunnel of Waiting By OA (Syria)

 It is ten months since I entered the tunnel of waiting, or what I call my situation here in Malaysia. I remember all the details of my first interview at UNHCR. Since then, I have been a refugee and asylum seeker. I woke up the next day with confused emotions. The first thing I did was look up on the Internet the meaning of asylum. I wondered how I would introduce myself to society. I asked myself a lot of questions. Will I sing in the street on the way back to the house as I used to do in my country, without shame? Will I get a job according to my experience and education? Will I see life as before, full of happiness and enjoyment? In those days, I read a lot of poems about refugees and asylum and I worried that my life would become an appropriate story for a poem. Recently, a policeman stopped me and asked me for my passport. I tried to speak in Spanish so he would not think I was refugee. They consider refugees here illegal. Long after he left, I still felt the horizon very near to my chest and the clouds following me. The issue of refugees is a global one. While it most immediately affects developing nations, there is a strong argument that industrialised countries should help by allowing more migration. This is partly a moral issue and partly in the economic self-interest of industralised nations. We live in a global village and it is no longer possible to ignore what happens on the other side of the world. Today I live more in my memory than in the present. When I drink a cup of coffee, I remember how it was drunk on the balcony of my house with a beautiful view of Damascus, my family and friends with me.

 My Dreams By wadshamm (Sudan)

 I’m from the Darfur region. I was born in a small village called Khadira and grew up there. I went to primary school in Nouri district, close to my village. As I was completing primary school, militia known as Janjaweed, armed by Sudanese president Omar al-Basheir, attacked our village early morning Dec 30, 2003. All the people in the village ran away to the mountains and forest and hid themselves in the long grasses. We stayed there for three days without food and water. On Jan 2, 2004, we stepped down to Sisi, where there is a small military camp, seeking food and water. When we got there, we tried to find some people from my village, including my brother and some classmates. But we didn’t find them. Some friends and I went back to Khadira, Nouri and surrounding villages to look for them. Eventually, we heard they were killed by Janjaweed who attacked our village. We were shocked. Our properties were pillaged and burned systematically. Nothing remained. My family and I fled from our village with just the clothes on our bodies. When we got to Sisi, it was winter. Many people passed away. A few months later, some humanitarian organisations came and gave us clothes and food. Since I went to Sisi camp, I didn’t go back to my village because the Janjaweed are still around there. When the women go out of the camp to collect firewood, they are raped and tortured by Janjaweed. What I wish is for the UN to help our people in Darfur who are in a miserable situation. I wish peace to all people in Sudan. I don’t want to go back to my country. Why? Because there is no justice. The government kills people everyday. Why? Since I came to Malaysia, I have faced many problems including discrimination from the Malaysian people. Why? Because they can’t accept black people in their community. Also, there is no chance for work. I wish to find another place to achieve my dreams.