Being a refugee

“Here” he says, stretching his arm towards me. He emptied his pockets and in his hand he has four pieces of candy. One for me, one for him, and two left for his friends. He only has what is currently on his body. A pair of worn-out jeans, holes and stains explaining what words can’t on how it is to sleep on the grey pavement where we take our daily walks; an old t-shirts that used to be orange with the words “Just do it” written across his chest, that moves as he bursts out in laughter from a joke that was whispered in his ear by a friend. His smile puts beautiful folds on his face, and he insists I eat the piece of candy with them. So I do. The group instantly breaks out into loud laughter as one tries to teach me how to say “See you next week” in Arabic. Even though we all silently hope, that won’t be the case, however much their spirit lifts me up. The better life is not here on the streets of Brussels. I ask them what they are doing this evening, and they tell me they are going to do the same as they do every night “We’re going to England”.

Every day so many people are chasing a dream of a better future – for themselves, for their parents, their brothers, sisters and loved ones. These people have been hiding on boats, on trains, and cars, sometimes gambling with their life. Being a refugee is hard. We want them to rediscover what is means to be a person.

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