“If I die, it’s okay…This is not worse than what I face in my country.”
An anonymous migrant recently said the above to a BBC reporter.
Flashback to just over two months ago, when my husband and I arrived in our new promised land.
It took us more than two years. We investigated and explored before we applied for a visa. We waited patiently as all our documents where assessed. We supplied police declarations and medical reports. While we were waiting, we continued working, got all our belongings ready for shipping, travelled around saying temporary goodbyes to our friends in Europe and Egypt and all together had a great time.
Finally, when we got the visa, we booked a one-way ticket and travelled in a big comfortable plane to the other side of the world, where we were welcomed with open arms by friends and friends of friends. The state government helped us to settle in, offering special services for new migrants.
We are now looking for a place to live, for our dream jobs, for what we missed in all the other countries we had the pleasure and fortune to live in, for what will make our fantastic life even better.
We are migrants.
They are migrants, too.
They have had to run. From one day to the other, leaving their homes, families and everything they knew behind. They don’t have papers and they couldn’t wait. If they wouldn’t have sought refuge, they would have been hunted, tortured, raped, killed.
They travel with no more than the clothes they are wearing. They live in make-shift camps under inhumane conditions, waiting for an opportunity to jump on a boat, a train or a truck. Or they walk for hundreds of kilometers, escaping massacres or famine.
They see others die trying. Die drowning. Die of dehydration. Die of asphyxiation. Die of hunger.
When they finally manage to get on the other side, they are unwanted, discriminated, hurdled together in camps, just as miserable as on the other side. Or they hide under the radar, living the life of a cockroach. The local government tries to send them back or simply throws them out.
They are looking to survive, to find a place where they are welcome, a safe haven where they will have a chance to live. They simply want to live. They want to survive.
Author: Yaisa Nio
Editor: Alli Sarazen
Photo: Author’s Own; WikiMedia Commons