Caritas International  Majed’s Story
30/08/2016

Living the life of an ordinary Belgian

With a gentle face and quiet look, Majed is a touching man. This 63-year-old husband and father is Iraqi and left Baghdad because he and his family were threatened: “one day, men came to our house, pointed a gun at my temple, ordered us to flee, fired into the air, and then left.” The family then decided to give up everything and move to Jordan, a country with which they are not familiar, but where they hope to feel safe. “InchAllah …”

Things did not really happen as Majed had imagined: “With my son, we left Jordan because we were not able to live well: we were afraid, we did not have work, decent housing, nor the possibility for my children to continue their studies. I cannot live in a country where I feel excluded, where I do not feel safe. So we decided to go to Turkey. ”

It is a long road: “We walked several hours in the Turkish mountains before taking a boat to Greece. Once we landed, the police took us downtown, gave us a road map and a boat ticket to reach Athens. From there, we continued our journey towards Macedonia. We took cars and trains to Serbia from check-in stations to check-in points. We crossed Hungary in one go and arrived directly in Germany. In each of these steps, Majed and his son slept in tents. Last Thursday, they arrived in Brussels, then directly Amel, in the region of Verviers.

Majed has an appointment on November 26 for the interview that will determine whether or not he will receive refugee status. Until then, he tries to keep himself healthy, despite the sickness of his lungs and the cold of those first Belgian autumn days difficult to bear.

His wife and two daughters stayed in Jordan: “I would like to start a good life here and make sure that they arrive as soon as possible! My son and I are energetic, we like to work hard. I was a teacher in Iraq, I taught biology teacher. My son has a medical education, but we are ready to do what we are given. I know how to sew, I took electricity courses in Jordan. I know how to do a lot and when I do nothing, I feel like I’m in prison. ”

Today, Majed is welcomed, like almost 500 other people, in one of the three campsites made available by Fedasil and managed by Caritas International. He pointed out that efforts could still be made to improve living conditions, but he was nonetheless grateful to be welcomed and philosophically awaits the day he receives permission to live the life of an ordinary man as the head of the family that he wishes so much to be.

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