This week, one of our Admins Sharif tells us how his experience with PC4R - as a service user, a donor, and an Admin - helped to change the way he connects with humanity.
To be a refugee is not a choice. 'Refugee' is a title that is forced on you, but I have graciously accepted it as A Beautiful Title Given To Me.
Humanity is like a body, and nations are its organs. In the body, when one organ starts to hurt, all the body becomes uncomfortable; but we live in a time and situation where humanity has lost its feelings, and the pain of one nation is forgotten.
I was in the Jungle a year and a half ago. My days were full of grief, and my nights with nightmares. I had no shoes, no clothes, almost no hope, no vision for my future - I was the living dead. Before I came to the Jungle, I was imprisoned in Italy because they suspected that I belonged to a terrorist group. They said I was a grave danger for the stability of their country - 'funny innit', they turned 6 precious diamond-like months of my life to ashes.
Before Italy, I was detained in Dungavel house in Scotland, for what? For breathing, walking, and eating from God's country, Britain. Of course they did not tell me 'we put you in this cage because you breathe in OUR country', but I could feel it. I will never understand the reason that the powerful enjoy oppression - they must have a diseased heart.
Before Scotland, I was beaten so hard by security guards in WTC II, Belgium, that my breath nearly stopped. Before Belgium, I have been in many more dangerous, deadly, depressing and anxious situations that I would prefer not to write down - but my point here is not to complain from my past. Rather, I want to try to clean the dusty face of the mirror of the present.
We don't know to what degree humanity has lost our feelings. I went through all that suffering just because I was someone with no identity. I didn't belong anywhere. To live in this strange world you need to value and identify your human self - that self which our traditions believe to have been higher in respect of dignity than angels. Should we identify ourselves not by our deeds, but by a small piece of paper with our picture on it?
I did not have this piece of paper, and so I was someone with no identity. I started to hate both Europe and Europeans. I almost felt stuck between life and death, and I was lost. After many years of hardship I joined this group with the help of Yoon Daix. When I first heard about the group, I could not believe it. In my imagination it was just a group which will spy on refugees to inform the government, but when I finally received top up myself within 20 minutes and the donor was a lady, I was surprised and I have started to think differently. After one month I started to work here as an Admin, meeting Jape, Jim, Vlasta, Wren, Aneesa, Suzi, and others, and at that time they showed me a very affectionate face of Europeans. Thanks to everyone for changing my thoughts from negative to positive. Meeting the team and being part of this group comforted and healed all the wounds that I experienced in the past.
You can help us change the world by joining our Facebook group here. Remember - we are all connected.
The Phone Credit for Refugees team