I’m Hamza. I left my home in Syria when I was 14, desperate to avoid years of conflict. My school was bombed and many of my friends were killed. At that point I knew the conflict had stripped my future away from me and I was forced to leave everything I knew behind.
I said goodbye to my mum, not knowing when I’d see her again.
My journey was difficult; I was beaten and my phone – the one way I had to contact my family back home – was taken from me.
I hid inside a sealed box in a lorry headed for the UK because it was my only option. The air supply slowly depleted on the journey and it was hard to breathe, but I knew I had to stay alive to see my mum again. Her words and the thought of seeing her again are what kept me going. When I got to England I cried with happiness!
I waited a long time for my refugee status, and eventually the Red Cross was able to help me reunite with my family.
Eight years later, I feel like the UK is my second home. I plan to study electrical engineering at university and start my own company. What I want most is to give back to this country that gave me a chance to rebuild my life.
Worryingly though, under the new Nationality and Borders Bill, people seeking asylum could have their claim judged on the journey they took to get to the UK, rather than the dangers we fled. This could leave people making similar journeys to me without vital support.
By standing with us, you’re making our call for a more compassionate way to support refugees louder and stronger, so thank you. And if you have family or friends that haven’t signed the pledge yet, why not get them to join us?
|How do you support your family when the system is keeping you apart? In the latest episode of the We are VOICES podcast series single mother, Alvina, investigates how families are affected by the asylum system. Listen here.|