You have to wait

All the experiences that I thought I would share to this place where I could feel my worth. It seemed as if the roses I carried with me for Norway, was withering in my hands. No one accepted my gift, no one reached out their hands to receive my gift. After a year of waiting … all roses withered ..

Mehiar Qaddwori kom fra Syria til Norge over den russiske grensen. Han skriver i dette innlegget om det første året i Norge. Om et liv satt på vent.

In the past, before the war in Syria, I got the idea that I should get out of my country many times, in search of freedom, justice, and democracy, but I did not work for the idea to become a reality, despite the intense love for what I longed for. Because my love for my work in the media and the press told me maybe there will be hope in my country someday. For more than 20 years, I had been working in the media, during which I´ve gained a lot of experience, for instance in public relations, etc. I was forced to leave it all behind and go out quickly to preserve my life. 

Norway is one of the places which resembles the beautiful dream: Each man can do what he wishes. He has safety, justice, democracy, freedom, beauty, humanity, and for me, something of great importance: the work of free media.

I was a person who entered Norway coming through the border crossing Russia. It was the beginning of an important experience for me, and I promised myself that I would accomplish on a documentary film about that experience soon.

But for the moment .. Did I say soon ???

At that time I thought it would happen soon6 months had passed before someone asking me who are you ? what do you want ? And telling me: What is Norway? What are your rights or your duties? How to behave to live in Norway? Do you like to start learning the language? How do you like to spend your time? Are there any issues you are engaged into, and would you like to spend your time in it, even as a volunteer?

There were a dozen questions that I was waiting for someone to ask me about, but none of them were asked. I didn´t find someone to talk to, and then , I took the initiative to search and try for myself.

And the answer to all my question I got then, was always: You have to wait. These are words known to each and everyone who comes to this country: You have to wait. 

You wouldn´t know how harsh and frustrating these words are, for people coming to Norway to start a new life. 

After six months, I was transferred to a camp in Kirkenes to do the interview and after a month there, I was transferred back to camp permanently and I stayed hear and heard the same answer: You have to wait, until they requested me for another interview in Oslo. This time, and I´m greatful, I did not have to wait a lot, only one month, finally I got the approval of the residence.

But it happened after more than a year after I entered Norway and after a year of waiting. Waiting to start my life again, from below zero, my life that had been stalled since I came out from Syria, even though I knew it would have ended if I stayed there.

I woke up to the beautiful dreams. Projects in mind and looking forward to learning the language. I had my hopes, my ambitions, the energy inside me to work, an urge for activity that you carry with you for the rebirth in Norway.

All the experiences that I thought I would share to this place where I could feel my worth. It seemed as if the roses I carried with me for Norway, was withering in my hands. No one accepted my gift, no one reached out their hands to receive my gift. 

After a year of waiting –  all roses withered.

The harsh words stopped me like a wall: You have to wait 

Then, I thought that the wall had reveiled a small gap for me to walk through, it appeared to me a light of hope in spite of all tailings ponds, although 2300 kroner a month to cover everything.

Despite my earnest expectation to go to the municipality where I would stay in during learning the language, and then see the doctor, because I cannot pay the money now, and then bring my wife, whom I haven´t seen in more than four years (because the Norwegian government imposed a payment of 8000 kroner for me to conduct a family reunion).

And even though I live in a building of an old school in a small village and the nearest place to buy my stuff is just 3 km, and even though I know that the government has dealt with us in this inhuman way to scear off other refugees who flees from war, injustice and death and force them to think twice before approaching Norway.  We became part of a political game. They played with us and our fate and our lives, and we felt like a snow ball that buffeted by hands until it dissolved, died and was forgotten …

And then from one camp to another, and to wait for an interview date, and to wait for the answer from UDI, awaiting the decision of the AMD, to wait for an appointment answer. Then transport from the municipality to wait to start educational program. We spend our time waiting.

Today the camp director surprised me that there is a new decision: The mottak I live in, will shut down, and I have to get ready to move to another camp in a few days. That means I would have to pack the bags and go to another camp, which may possibly close too, before I´m being transferred to the municipality, which the IMD will choose for me, even though I´ve lived for eight months here. I have organized my life here, and I´ve got to know people in the community and I now have many friends here. Although most of those who live with me in the camp, feels the way I do and do not want to leave the place. They want to stay until the transfer date to the municipality. They are tired of their lives have become like a football which is buffeted by the foot. No one says no on our behalf. No one stands up for us and say no, they should stay here until that time, they are human, but who cares for us?

Yes, we are human, we came from the land where its civilization stretches backwards for thousands of years. My city where I lived all my life, Damascus, is called the jasmine city, it was the oldest capital in the world. We are not the cause of the retardation and destruction that happens in our country now. Those who caused it are the rulers of the world, the kings and the presidents who have supported them with everything to be dominating, and brought us these wars and failure.

We are human, we have feelings and sensations, families and lovers and business, and culture, and many of us are educated to the highest levels, and we are not mice used by the government to make the refugees stay away from your country.

Shut down your borders and do not allow us to get into your country from the beginning and do not worry about the so-called rights of refugees as human rights, the most important ones. And when thousands died in my country the world did not care about them. They plan to not worry about you, too. 

They treat us like we are not humans on your land. We are humans who hate injustice like you do, and we love goodness and now we live amongst you. 

You who sympathizes with the videos and images of death and destruction and injustice in my country – those scenes that you see in the media and some of you may cry of emotion when he see …

We are humans and we are not asking for pity, but we ask that you open the door for us, for you to get to know us better. We are not all good, between us, of course, there are people who are bad, but even in the best families there may be a son astray. It is not my fault that you met him first, I beg you not to define us all by this. We are good people and we are people who love other people. We love work and we love goodness, and we wish to be treated in the same good way. We would like some kind of justice, where is the Justice when we´re placed in a prisonlike life all this time?

We are humans. We are neither angels nor devils, but in Norway we have waited too much to know who takes decisions in this country.

We are humans…

But have I left my old life to wait? To wait to start again after loosing 40 years and nearly a year and a half here? How long will I hear those words in the Golden Kingdom?

We have to stop your life when you enter NorwayYou have to wait until we allow you to re-activate your life again.

Mehiar Qaddwori

Who has till now, lived in Halsa mottak

3 kommentarer til «You have to wait»

  1. Veldig viktig historie. Alle har rett til et fullverdig liv, her er det mye å ta tak i.

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