My Story: Fa’aid

In the lead-up to Refugee Week 2017, MOAS celebrates this year’s theme “Different pasts, Shared Future” by sharing the first-hand stories of people who have experienced forced migration. Today, we are proud to share Fa’aid’s story with you. When MOAS rescued him in 2015, he was 19 years old, and full of hope for the future. This is his story.

My name is Fa’aid, I’m from Somalia. I have a big family: my dad, mum, and four brothers and sisters. If I try to mention the reason why I made the sacrifice to leave them and start this very hard life, it is because of two things. Economically, in Somalia you can’t have a proper life. Even if you are an educated person, and complete even university level, no-one is going to recognise your certificate because it’s not international, and no-one is going to give you a job. So even if you spend time taking education from primary to university, after you complete no-one is going to take you or consider you.

The other problem is political. Somalia is not a stable country and Al-Shabaab and those organisations might attack you and kill you at any time. Because of these two factors, I decided to migrate from Somalia to go somewhere in Europe so that I can have a better life and I can have an international passport; I decided to come there because of that.

I started my journey from Mogadishu two years ago. I travelled from Mogadishu to Addis Ababa and then Khartoum. The main problem you face is when you are crossing the border between Sudan and Ethiopia, it’s very, very dangerous. That’s where they are going to shoot you: they will kill you if they see you. Three people were shot there when we were trying to cross the border.

The second great problem is the Sahara. I don’t know the exact kilometres between Sudan and Libya, but it’s very long. It took us 7 days to come from Sudan to Libya. That was very dangerous. We didn’t have any food for 7 days. After that we were in Libya. They caught us and put us in jail. We were two months in prison, after that they took ransom money and released us. This was a journey I will never forget.

Going on the sea was a very big problem. The people sending us to sea gave us a very small rubber boat for 120 people. It was the middle of the night and we didn’t have anything. After 10 hours we were facing different problems. We didn’t have compass or GPS, and the only water we had came from the sea. After all of that we gave up, we thought we were going to lose ourselves. After 5 hours of that trouble, MOAS came. I can’t describe how I felt when I saw the boat.

If I go to Italy I wish to have a better life, and that I can have an education and peace. A new part of my life is going to open up.

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