16 June, 2016

My first time

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Category: Asylum seekers, Refugees
Community Manager
8 am

open-door-2Written By Marta Fuentes

Last summer, before this ‘refugee crises’ arrived to Europe, I was travelling with my friends in the southeast part of Turkey. We were visiting Harran, an ancient city nearly the border with Syria. When we were walking along the ruins and the castle of the town, in a really hot weather, a car stopped next to us and rolled down the windows. It was a Family, a couple with two small kids. They asked us smiling if we needed help, because they saw us walking in the sun. We thanked and told them that we were just visiting the town. They asked curious where we were from. When one of my friends told them that she was from Germany, they exclaimed happily: “We are going there!” Then they introduced themselves, they were a family from Aleppo who just crossed the border. They were running away from their country, wishing to arrive in Germany if they had the chance. “They are killing all the people in Syria so we are escaping from there” were their exact words. They were smiling even when saying that. We said goodbye casually and in that moment I thought: “How is it possible that a family in their desperate escape from their home, where people are being killed without mercy, is so generous as to offer help happily to us, some random young tourists? They are the ones who need help!”

They were not the only refugees I met during that trip. In the Dolmuş (small bus) an old woman started talking with us when she heard us speaking English. She couldn’t speak it, but we managed to understand each other with our little Turkish and using body language. She was from Raqqa and she showed us her identity card which recognised her as a refugee in Turkey. She explained us that his husband and son died and she was on her way to the school to learn and improve her Turkish.

That trip was the first time in my life I was facing refugees, speaking with them, hearing their stories, seeing endless white refugee camps along the roads… It shocked me. At that moment there was no “refugee crises” in Europe but I was studying about that at the University, reading about the situation, the conflicts, the terrorism… although not focusing on the people who were suffering that situation… But, there they were, the real victims, with different stories but with one thing in common: all of them left their country because it was not a safe place anymore, not because they wished to.

If they are willing to help people with no more issues than being tourist… are we going to turn the face when they are asking for vital help? When their country is being destroyed? When their families are killed? Are we going to target them because they are ”just” Refugees or asylum-seekers? Just because they are looking for a safe place to live? Are we going to continue with a hate speech that does not solve anything and which only puts them in a worse situation, feeling rejected once again?

Ouvre-moi ta porte

Ouvre-moi ton coeur

Car je suis un homme

L’homme de tous les temps

L’homme de tous les cieux

L’homme qui te ressemble !…

“L’homme qui te ressemble”

(René Philombe)

#nohatespeech   #refugeeswelcome

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