Suddenly your name is getting called in a supermarket line, and you are being asked loud, “is there not bombs falling like rain in africa?”
When refugees come to western countries they often have wrong pictures about western life. According to the western life they see on television or in movies, they think life is going to be happy all the time – no stressing, dreams come true, all the beauty of their dream will come true but the truth is different, life is stressful. Mostly in Europe refugees come as grown ups, then they have to spend their time studying language then other things instead of pursuing their dreams.
The westerns has their own way of wrong pictures about the African people they see on television and in the news. They see people living in slum areas, and African people without clothes with arrow and shield in their hands killing each other. Always a poor realty as if poor and rich is same there. But life on both sides is different than the things that we see on television – what we see on television is a small branch of reality.
One of my friends, once her husband wanted to go to Africa for work, she asked me loud in a supermarket, she called my name and asked, “is there not bombs falling like rain in Africa? Please tell my husband,” she said. But if there was bombs falling like a rain how would I survived and got here? And Africa has 54 countries in it, but that is what she saw on television.
So let us try to know each other.
A Danish friend once came to visit me in Sundholm Asylum Camp and told me how scared she was about the visit. She saw and heard on television that it was a dangerous area to be in. So she was asking me, “is it ok in there?” And even when she brought her children she told them that they had to stay inside my room because she was scared that something would happen to them. Then she let her children ride a bike once or twice in the compound, then she was okay. The next day she came with her younger daughter because she saw that the asylum centre was not as bad as she heard it was.
Some of the thing you experience in the asylum camps are when you are standing on line to get to talk to someone. They will give first priority to the light skin people, or should i say white arabs. If you go to shopping places some workers will follow you thinking you do not see them, but they follow you so you do not steal. I have talked with a lot of people who have negative experiences, they told me that it makes them feel unwanted. Refugees goes though a lot coming here running from getting hunted by their own governments like you have no life or you are worth nothing. Leaving behind your own warm and cozy home, family, love and care, place that you grew up and land you know well. Going through desserts trying to find land, people who accepted you makes you feel like you are safe now and it is okay. So with all the vulnerability you have and facing some miss treatment makes you questioning, “am i still unwanted here?” Even as a human being! Is it my colour, my look what picture do they have about me? It leaves you wondering what is the reason why people do not treat you like you are! What does a person need to do to be accepted?