“We always hope for change, but we are powerless. We are just refugees”

Photo: EU Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid/Flickr ©CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

I went to visit a friend of mine, it has been a while since I visited her and when we sat down and started chatting. She started telling me the story of a neighbour of hers in the camp who got very sick with corona and her children started running around to help her. She was then admitted to the hospital and put on an oxygen cylinder. The story filled me with sadness and thoughts filled my head. What is this epidemic that has taken over the whole world and claimed the lives of many friends and loved ones?

Today the weather is very cold and a strong windstorm changed the features of the camp. I stood at the door of my tent to see what was happening and only saw people rushing to secure their tent covers so that they would not fly. This is a very painful thing because it will be repeated with the coming of every storm and there is no trick in hand to change it. I wish that I could provide even a little help, but I can only watch.

Now the situation for the camp’s residents is difficult and there are harsh days ahead. The economic situation is critical and fuel prices have risen. People do not know what their condition will be during this cold winter, nor how they will keep their children warm. Some have suggested firewood, but prices are very high and we are afraid that it will cause fires in the camp. Obtaining medicines too will be a problem because all the children get sick as a result of the lack of heating. We always hope for change, but we are powerless to do anything. We are just refugees.

The weather is bright and wonderful, and I have no place to sit and contemplate the clear sky except at the door of my tent. A child was playing with the rest of the children. I called him and asked him what was the most beautiful thing in this life. He said to me: “My father and my mother.” I smiled and asked him what else made him happy. He told me it was going to school.

  • The following entry was written in November 2021.
  • Diaries from Refugee Camps is a series that gives readers a glimpse into the challenging life of refugees.

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Off with the head! Getting Rid of Phoney Justice

Welcome to the September issue of The Gordian.

Executing a human being and punishments like solitary confinement are as coldblooded and premeditated as murder and torture can get. They are not in self-defence, because the danger has passed. It is not justice, because a person can always outweigh their deeds, and they can change, given the chance. The theme of this series is still justice and in this issue, we are looking at it from different angles, including those phoney ones imposed on the guilty with little or no respect for their welfare and human right.

This issue offers the usual mix of politics, interviews and culture by UN-aligneders across the world, including Ruby Goldenberg, Carla Pietrobattista, Katharina Wüstnienhaus, Victoria Davila, Partho Chatterjee and Maya Bearyman, Cristina Mihailescu, Omar Alansari-Kreger, Atika Harba and Sonia Roopnarain.

The editors are Adrian Liberto and Ariana Yekrangi.

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