18 October *
How stupid can you be?
I pull up on the muddy track that provides one
point of access to the Camp. On one side there is a ‘restaurant’
constructed from heavy plastic tarpaulin and wood. On the other is
a field of tents stretching to an embankment with an 8 metre metal
fence topped with barbed wire. This protects the endless queue of
container lorries on their way to the cross channel ferry, from the
rabble in the field below. It is midday, there is no one around. A
thin African boy walks up to me and asks if I have shoes. He is
wearing flip flops.
… Actually I do, I say pulling open
the car boot. I have 6 pairs in the back of my car, donated by my
neihgbours in the half hour before I left home. Immediately some
dozen young men are around me, pushing and grabbing at the boots in
the car. They work out quickly that none fit and hand them back,
but one man is shouting at me:
… Your phone, your phone - it’s
taken. Someone has reached in and grabbed it from the front.
Well at least they left my bag with passport and purse. The other
men look sad and shake their heads. The thief has disappeared into
the cluster of sodden tents. A couple run to try and find him but
he has disappeared...
…Welcome to the Jungle. A young
man in woollen cap and duffle coat comes up: Hello I’m
Toby. First rule - don’t distribute from the back of your
car. You might think I would know that after some 20 years
working in refugee camps.
I am here to meet Tom and Shizuka who have
been coming to the camp regularly since August and have set up Help
Calais, a crowd funding platform that has already raised more than
£60,000 to help various projects in the Camp. When I asked on
Facebook if they needed some help, they said please come
I drive back into Calais to find a Wifi
connection for my computer, and cancel my mobile sim. I don’t mind
losing an old smart phone - but can’t afford to fund endless
telephone calls to the Middle East or wherever. On the way back I
pass three bewildered looking young man standing on a roundabout.
Two are clearly Ethiopian and one says he’s Afghan. They just got
to Calais and want to find the Jungle. I suddenly feel like an old
hand: Get in.
We drive back along Route des Gravelines,
passing a procession of refugees, mostly men and boys all walking
in the Camp direction after a night spent trying to get on
trains or lorries trying to get across the Channel.
The Ethiopians are from Dire Dawa. They are
delighted to hear my husband comes from neighbouring Harar and that
I know the town well. The Afghan boy cannot speak any English and
stares solemnly out the window. I take them to the Pink Caravan
where Toby lives and from which he does some distribution. There is
a Sign up saying tents are for newcomers only. Toby says
he will get them sorted.
I spend the rest of the day trailing Tom. He
is a Buddhist priest who gave up a career in acting to become a
mental health outreach worker in Lewisham. Now he applies his case
work skills to the jungle. He and Shizuka spent the morning helping
a heavily pregnant woman relocate from a filthy tent in a satellite
camp to a better one nearer the medical tent run by Medecins
Du Monde. He wants me to meet Riyad, who we find at Jungle
This is a small wooden construction brightly
painted filled with donated books dictionaries and language
training books. It was set up by Sediq, one of the Afghan refugees
and a volunteer. Inside are three young men sitting reading. Next
door is a larger meeting room with a wood burning stove. Riyad is a
tall, thin, sad looking man who greets me with a gentle courtesy.
He left his home, shop, wife and child in Sudan when the regular
arrests, beatings and extortionate demands for money that were
meted out for his failure to support the government, became
unbearable. He simply wants to make a better life for his family.
He speaks fluent English, and cannot imagine how he would adapt to
any other culture. That’s why he will try to cross over to the
Mustafa, who is sitting here with us, is
taking a different route. He is a sociology student who was driven
out of Darfur by the continuing conflict. His home has been
completely destroyed. He had hoped to get to Britain but after one
night at the Tunnel terminal, watching the police and dogs, seeing
the injuries suffered by fellow migrants and hearing about the
regular deaths that occurred, he decided … it’s not worth my
life. It is thought that between one and three people die in
the Tunnel every week. It is impossible to get accurate figures but
everyone knows that a 16 year old Afghan refugee died a week ago.
His body was spread over 400 meters of rail track. Mustafa has
applied for Asylum in France, been finger printed and told to wait
in the Jungle.
Bizarrely although the French Authorities
regard the settlement as illegal, they still use it as a holding
area for their own asylum seekers, without providing any assistance
for them. Later in the evening I meet two more Sudanese who have
both waited almost a year among these sand dunes for their asylum
applications to be processed. They are now off to start new lives
in Paris and Lyon. Riyad cannot bear the thought of remaining in
France, not just because of the appalling conditions in the Camp
but because of the way he is treated in town.
… People spit at you, they won’t speak to
you or serve you in shops.
One man tells me of injuring his leg and being told by the police
he would only be taken to hospital if he agrees to be finger
printed here. He refused and crawled back to camp to get treatment
from Medecins Du Monde who run a clinic in the camp. A few weeks
ago a refugee was set upon by local people, stripped, beaten and
left for dead. He managed to make it back to the camp naked but no
one helped him along the way.
… We are human beings, we have not
committed any crime, we just hope for a better life.
It is a refrain I will hear again and again over the next few days.
People will endure the dirt, cold and squalor here in the hope of
reaching a country which they are sure will treat them with respect
and dignity as well as giving them the minimum necessities to start
their lives. Warnings that life for asylum seekers and refugees in
the UK is not a bed of roses fall on deaf ears.
I am struck by our capacity in extremis to both cooperate and
create beauty. Why not build on these virtues?
Monday 19 October
I have made friends with two Afghan boys: 12
year old Abdul and his 11 year old friend Jamal. Abdul is in jeans
cut just below the knee, and a too thin jacket. Jamal is similarly,
inadequately dressed. They were both at school in their home
province of Kunduz in Afghanistan. Their village was shelled and
everyone ran away and got separated. Neither has any idea
where their parents are, or if they are alive. They have been
travelling together for the last two months.
… A good man helped us - walking, cars,
train. We took a big ship from Turkey to Greece. I want to go
to England. I have an uncle there, in Manchester.
They have been here two days living in a half
collapsed tent. Abdul hasn’t eaten today, so I take him to the
‘Ashram’ tent, one of a number serving free hot food. He tries the
porridge but hates it, so eats some biscuits instead. There is a
French Charity trying to help unaccompanied children. They visit
regularly and offer them care and support and school in St Omer and
also help in applying for French Asylum. Abdul begs me not to alert
them. He is determined to go to England and find his relatives. He
thinks he will try tonight. I ask him to give himself a few days at
least to orient himself and eat some proper food.
…You could even learn better English, and
get more information about the Asylum process.
This at least catches his interest. After leaving Abdul at the
library, looking at grammars and dictionaries, and discussing
English with a volunteer, I have tea with a Kurdish father and his
8 year old daughter Samira, in what is called the ‘family
camp’. They both tried the Tunnel last night but got turned
back by police with pepper spray and dogs before they even got to
the fence. The idea of this little girl trying to jump onto a train
fills me with horror. The Father tells me this is no life
here. They fled from Mosul when ISIS attacked - no life there
Around me other families are cooking over open
fires. Smoke rises in the sunlight. Children play with donated
scooters, an infant charges around unsteadily, watched by his
mother, a baby cries. This family camp has only been here a few
weeks, springing up in the Kurdish area on the Southern edge of the
jungle, next to the Birch trees and beside the road. It looks
pleasant enough now but what will happen when temperatures drop and
rain puts out the fires around which people warm themselves?
I think I have got to grips with the geography
of this place. People have mostly camped out next to neighbours of
similar ethnicity. So there is an Afghan area near the bridge
with a large number of established shops and restaurants, a Syrian
area on the dunes in the centre; an Ethiopian and Eritrean area
around the Ethiopian Orthodox church whose walled compound
emblazons ‘St Michael Jungle Church’. It is constructed out of wood
and plastic, carpeted and lit with candles inside, and decorated
with paintings. The Sudanese area is along the Eastern border
beside the road. Many of their shelters are large and well-
constructed built around immaculately swept and organised
The history is easily checked on Wikipedia. Asylum seekers and
migrants have been camping unofficially in Calais since Sarkozy
closed the Red Cross reception centre in 2002, provoking riots.
Since then an ever growing number of new arrivals have established
new encampments in various locations, only to have them bull dozed
after a period of time.
This particular ‘jungle’, created on a
landfill site that may well contain various forms of toxic waste,
has existed since Spring of this year when there were thought to be
approximately 1500 living here. The estimated population is now
around 6000-7000. The majority are young men but there are growing
numbers of women and children. Some of these are staying in
the Jules Ferry Centre on the Northern border of the dunes, where
a French Charity called La Vie Actif provides accommodation
for them, along with very limited number of hot showers and a
soup kitchen for the wider community.
I tramp about in an amazed rage. How is it
possible that on the borders of a north European town, there are
some 6000 people living in conditions worse than those I have
encountered with Somali refugees on the Ethiopian border,
Pakistanis after a devastating earthquake, or Darfuris in the
deserts of Northern Chad, one of the poorest countries in the
World? I pick my way through rivers of mud and between piles
of uncollected garbage; try to help a teenage boy get water out of
a blocked fawcett, water that is apparently positive for E coli,
hold my breath while making use of portakabin loos that no one has
cleaned for days, and step over human excrement lying 6 inches from
tent doorways where children play. I can’t answer my question, but
I do begin to see that something else is going on.
In between the muddy footpaths and bursting
bin bags, people are building a community. Mosques are being
constructed which shelter newcomers at night and create quiet clean
warm space for anyone. Some of the Help Calais crowd funding has
gone to building an Information Centre which will provide clear
information on people’s rights and the asylum process. There is a
Women and Children’s Centre, where ex-firewoman, Lisa, and other
volunteers provide a quiet warm refuge. And there is an
extraordinary flowering of creativity, paintings on the plastic
walls of the tents, an art school. There is a theatre space in a
Dome, where I sit and watched grown men work delightedly with
pastels and paper. In the Jungle Books Library, English and French
and other classes are held every day. This week Gil Galasso, a
famous Maitre D’ from the Basque area is running a certified course
in the Art of the Table. I sit watching Galasso in immaculate
blazer and pressed trousers, show four fascinated young Sudanese
how to make cocktails, match the right wine with cheese, and hold
multiple plates. They all hope it will help them find jobs in
France. Galasso’s own family migrated to France from Italy in the
thirties, to escape hunger and find work, just like his students.
Tuesday 20 October
This morning at the Bed and Breakfast I met an
Iranian refugee with a blind daughter. He needed children’s clothes
so we took him to the Warehouse run by L’Auberge Migrant, a long
established Calais Charity. The warehouse is enormous and piled
ceiling high with donations - mostly from Britain. Much is useful:
warm clothing, tents and sleeping bags, shoes and bicycles, all
desperately needed - although I am curious as to the thinking of
those who give away smart handbags, high heeled shoes and dirty
underwear. Distributions are getting organised with van runs to
different parts of the Camp every day.
When I get back to the Camp I play chess at
Jungle Books with Abdul and Jamal. They did not go to the Tunnel
last night. They said they took my advice to learn more, but they
are almost certainly going tonight.
It’s a wet, chilly, misty morning, a hint of
things to come. I walk across the camp to the Dome. Musicians
against Borders have brought musical instruments, and a crowd of
Sudanese boys are banging drums and playing guitars. I ask my new
Sudanese friend Adam to come and join us. Adam sings us an English
pop song in a high tenor voice He invited me into his tent
yesterday. He is 17 and left Darfur because of the fighting.
… I wanted a safe country where I could
get an education. He spent three months getting to Libya where
he worked on a building site for another three months to get the
1000 dollars he needed to take a boat with 450 others. In Italy he
got on a train, hid from the police and made it to France. He has
tried jumping onto the channel tunnel train some 19 times, but he
got arrested a week ago and was put in jail. When he came up in
front of a judge they told him as he was 17 he was free to go. So
he is back here.
In the afternoon there is a Volunteers Meeting. They are getting
organised. Eva has turned up with a large chart, drawn with marker
onto two large pieces of cardboard. She has mapped all the sectors:
sanitation, food, shelter, health care, arts and education and
which groups are trying to address which needs in different parts
of the camp. It is the Who, what, where, when chart
beloved by humanitarian communities in emergencies. These
volunteers - many of whom have never done anything like this before
in their lives - have worked it out for themselves. They have also
worked out that they need some sort of security guidelines and a
code of conduct - no volunteers consuming alcohol or drugs on the
site, for example: Volunteers getting shitfaced is
completely inappropriate, someone says. There is a lively
discussion on how female volunteers should dress. Tifa who is an
Iranian and works in the women and children’s centre stands up in
baggy jeans and a loose long sleeved top. Her long dark hair is
…This is the appropriate way for us to
dress here. No miniskirts, no tight jeans, no long loose hair and
we have to be careful about touching and hugging. It is not
appropriate. For many people here these things are provocations and
misunderstood, and we are not the ones who suffer the consequences,
it is the women who live with these men. I understand what the men
are saying and it’s not polite.
A woman from ‘No Borders’
…They are coming to Europe- they will be
living amongst women like us. This is a chance to educate
… This is not the place to start, in a
vulnerable community of 90% young men. There will be time for that.
Right now our job is to protect any women living here from
… What about rape alarms?
… No woman refuge would use a rape alarm-
it would be shameful to for them to do so.
Distribution is also a contentious subject.
Mass distributions from the warehouse are efficient and safe, but
do they reach the most vulnerable? Smaller distributions are
needed, under the control of the communities themselves, but how to
avoid stuff getting onto the black market? What about containers on
site and allowing refugee leaders to distribute directly? And what
about people who turn up at night? Where should they go?
There is a call for better coordination with
the French NGO’s who have been working with the migrant community
for 15 years, the sudden mass influx of British volunteers has
taken everyone by surprise. Notice boards at prominent spots
are planned to help the ‘weekend warriors’ (kind people who drive
across the channel for a day to drop off donations) orient
themselves and avoid getting their mobiles stolen.
… This is all very good, a tall thin
young man speaks up, and humanitarianism is essential for
people’s day to day needs but what they want is to get to the UK
and nothing we have discussed here addresses that…Blankets won’t
solve the problem of police violence. Fascist rallies are planned
I don’t completely agree. It’s clear to me,
and to the French Authorities that the existence of the camp is in
itself politically threatening, it challenges the whole organised
asylum process and exposes its weaknesses. In fact this camp has
much more in common with the Occupy movements or Greenham Common
women’s peace camp than any humanitarian operation in which I have
been involved. For one thing the volunteers have been much more
successful at breaking down the usual barrier between givers and
receivers. At many points in the meeting I had no idea if it was a
volunteer or refugee voicing a view and when Tom chairing announced
- if anyone wants to help and volunteer, they may. A volunteer
is someone who helps other people. There is no distinction in this
respect between volunteer and refugee – no one
The question is where are the big Agencies?
Alongside MDM, MSF is here. They have been laying down rubble in
the mud for the last few days and dealing with toilets and garbage.
They tell me they plan a hospital outside the camp boundaries, but
the other big NGOS and UNHCR itself are noticeable by their
… It’s completely political, Ben,
volunteering in his gap year between Eton and Yale, tells me. He is
fluent in French and goes to their coordination meetings.
The French authorities don’t want anything that attracts more
migrants, but they don’t want it to be so awful it creates a
scandal. Possibly in some way we are playing straight into
their hands just preventing things tipping over the edge.
… You’re saying it might be better if
there was a mass outbreak of disease or people froze to
… Of course not, but how do we actually
get people out of this situation?~
.. Argue for HMG to come here and sort out
asylum claims jointly with the French. That’s what the UN are
asking them to do.
… It will never happen. The French don’t
want this place to be a magnet for refugees all over Europe.
… They are already coming.
One of the first films I saw as a child was ‘A
Tale of Two Cities’. There was an unforgettable scene where a child
is killed under the carriage wheels of a French aristocrat. I
remember wondering how could people live right next door to abject
suffering and poverty and remain unmoved - how did you drive by it
and over it? The consequences of such indifference were clear, the
downtrodden took matters into their own hands. They pulled down the
walls and gates and executed both the indifferent and those who
were not indifferent, but had not done much to change things. Now
the downtrodden at our own gates. All they want is to come
It’s dark and late. We sit round Raul’s fire. He and a handful
of Kurdish friends share a large tent near the south entrance. We
are always welcomed with tea. Raul is 25 and was studying
literature in Mosul. He had spoken eloquently at the meeting. It
was the first time he did such a thing and he is rightly very proud
Wednesday 21 October
Some people at the volunteer meeting
asked me to do a session on Volunteer self-care. So I turn up at 10
at the Ashram tent. Scott undoes the marquee door tape
and lets me in. The volunteers are already preparing breakfast
although at this time most camp residents are still asleep, having
tramped three hours to the tunnel entrance, spent two to three
hours climbing fences, evading police and dogs, and another three
hours back walking during the night.
Scott tells me he just came for the day
originally, then he got asked to lay a floor in this tent. Then
they started cooking a few meals for volunteers, then it sort of
grew and now they cook twice daily for hundreds of migrants. He
stayed and organises. Outside it’s raining a light drizzle- but as
the weather worsens these communal spaces will become vital. That’s
if the French allow the camp to stand. Rumours abound. Yesterday’s
local paper had a two page spread on how the mayor was calling in
the Army to help deal with security. L’Auberge were quoted as
suggesting the French army should learn a lesson from the Germans
and help build a good camp.
And apparently there is a plan for a new camp.
But it will only house the most vulnerable 1500, it will have
fences and security around it and will mean the eviction of at
least 400 camped out in the planned space. Besides how many will
want to move into a new camp if they are not allowed out of
Meanwhile the jungle has petty crime, a black
market, drugs, alcohol and violence, as in any community. I was
having a coffee with Sediq in his restaurant in the Afghan area,
when he was called because a young Sudanese man had gone to the MDM
tent with a knife. Sediq got some other Sudanese to mediate and
went and sorted it out without any casualties. What is remarkable
here is how quickly fights can be de-escalated.
Sediq has spent 5 years in Europe. He actually
got asylum in Italy (after waiting three years) but there was no
work. Then he spent a number of years in Norway until they told him
there were no problems in Afghanistan and he should go back.
… I would love to go back. All I want to
do is help my people. It’s impossible at the moment. And this is
your fault. You made the problems in my country not me. Look around
you - here are Pashtun, Tajik Uzbek, we all get on, but in
Afghanistan, there are more than 42 countries with their guns,
making things worse.
Sediq came to Calais in July to try and get to
the UK to find work. He was in hospital for three weeks because of
a beating. But now he has stopped trying to cross the Channel and
puts his energy into helping his fellow countrymen.
…At the Voice of Refugees meeting last
week I was discussing ‘How not to die. It’s essential they know
that if you walk to the tunnel for three hours and your clothes are
wet and you are tired, you will go under a train and you will die.
If people really want to help they should provide a bus so that at
least people are warm and dry before they make the attempt!
… I doubt the French would allow it -
bussing refugees to the tunnel…
… Then people will go on dying. Sediq
is not completely happy with volunteers. Some are only here for
themselves. If you want a building its up in three days – if we
want to make one it takes three months… and we know who needs
clothes and shoes.
…I think that is why they plan to have
people like you distribute.
Sediq tells me he has a plan of his own, to open a more expensive
restaurant with good food, where Volunteers will eat, especially
the ‘weekend warriors’. And he will encourage them to buy
attractive cards marked up in a particular way. Then he will ask
them to visit different areas of the camp and see who really needs
help. They should give the card to the vulnerable person who can
then return to the restaurant for a free meal. So Sediq has
worked out a neat system of assessing needs and providing food to
the most vulnerable while using the time and energy of random
I leave Sediq and go and look for Samira and her father as I
promised a visit. But their neighbour says they did not come back
from the train yesterday. Perhaps they have made it? Or taken
another route? Or got hurt or detained? I don’t want to think about
that. I go and visit Liz at the red and orange Women and
Three teenage Afghan boys have come in and she
is sorting out some stuff for them. One of them has cut his hand
and lost his shoes trying to climb the Tunnel fence last night. We
clean him up and find him shoes. One of them wants a bicycle and
Liz promises to try and find one in the warehouse.
…it’s not about the product. She
explains. I don’t mind if it’s a bicycle or a woolly hat,
if I can use the donations and spend some time here that’s
less time with the Hashish smokers and other unsavoury
Liz has created one of the most comfortable spaces in the Camp.
While we are sitting there a tearful Sudanese woman comes in. Liz
puts on the kettle on the small gas ring. Last night it was a
heavily pregnant Kurdish woman days way from giving birth. Her
husband had already paid $7000 to a lorry driver to take her to the
UK and then discovered it was a scam and the lorry was going
… Liz saved us as well Susan, a
volunteer tells me. She explains that she was working as a hotel
… I had guests screaming at me that they
did not get a good night’s sleep because the beds were lumpy. I had
to do something more useful.
So when the migrant crisis hit the news in
August she started an NGO called ‘Drive to humanity’, and drove to
Calais with Tifa and 2 others, and a van full of donations.
… Except we hadn’t a clue how to distribute stuff or what to
do. We decided we might as well start collecting rubbish with bin
bags. We were all fighting amongst ourselves and crying. Then Liz
came over and gave us a hug and asked if we wanted to help
her. They had been helping her ever since.
Thursday 22 October
When I walk into the Camp in the morning
someone asks me to go and see a sick four year old who arrived last
night. They are a Kurdish family camped out inside the Ashram
restaurant. In fact the four year old is running around munching
biscuits with no evidence of fever or distress, so I prescribe
A team have come from Brighton who plan to
bring across a school bus. They ask me to introduce them to some
children who might benefit from such a project, so I take them to
meet Abdul and Jamal, who now live in a caravan with another boy in
the family area. Abdul is as friendly as always, if a bit
dopey. He explains politely why school is not for
… I have to get to England. I spend all
night trying. It takes many hours to walk there, many hours to try
and reach a train and if I fail many hours to walk back. In the day
I have to sleep so I have no time for school.
I leave them to their assessment and head across the camp. The
Jungle has changed dramatically in the last four days. The
Information centre is now a roofed and plastic covered solid
structure. MSF have cobbled the muddiest roads and cleaned some of
the toilets. There is a whole batch of new caravans and new
structures. Outside the Dome a truck is distributing long thin
pieces of wood and a large number of refugees of all ethnicities
are engaged in building simple shelters.
Inside the Dome another music session is going on. An Afghan sings
and drums with astonishing beauty while another plays guitar.
Meanwhile Sudanese boys sit clapping as one of them comes across
shyly, picks up another drum and joins in. Once again I am
struck by our capacity in extremis to both cooperate and create
beauty. Why not build on these virtues?
On my way back across the camp I meet another
young Kurd who asks me to stop and chat. I think one of the most
useful things volunteers do is just hang out and listen wherever
and whenever. He wants me to see the broken tent in which he lives.
I look at the wet soggy tunnel and tell him I am sure we can find
something better, but he tells me not to worry about it as he is
out every night trying to get on a train.
… I was a history student in Mosul until
Isis came. Then I went to Turkey, but I was not a refugee so
everything costs money, so I worked illegally in a factory, but you
earn nothing. So I took a boat. If you agree to be captain its
free, although of course you risk a seven year jail sentence- but
we made it to Greece. Then Macedonia, then Hungary - they put us on
a bus for Austria, and the Austrians are lovely people, wonderful!
They gave us money and food and put us on a bus for Germany where
we were in a Camp for three days. But I don’t speak any German, and
in England there is work…
The words pour out. If you needed a selection
process to identify the most resilient and most able refugees, one
possible way is to ask them to find their way across either Eurasia
and the middle East or Sub-Saharan Africa, risk their lives in the
Mediterranean, and then place them in a toxic waste dump on minimal
handouts, before offering further life threatening challenges in
the form of avoiding electrocution while jumping onto trains, or
freezing or suffocating in the back of a lorry. Indeed I am amazed
these journeys have not yet been franchised as some kind of Reality
TV show in which the public votes for who they want to come
As you see I don’t use the word migrant. In my
five days here I have not met anyone who is not fleeing a war we
started or failed to stop, a genocide we have failed to end, or
human rights abuses to which we turn a blind eye. Yet what shines
through is intelligence, courage, concern for one another and a
deep admiration for Britain. I would welcome anyone of the people I
have met: Rashid, Raul, Sediq, Abdul or Jamal as my
The Jungle confronts us all with a very simple
question: will we share the resources of this one world equitably,
or will those of us with more firepower build ever higher fences to
protect ourselves from those ‘marauding swarms’ trying to escape
the poverty, violence and injustice that we are complicit in
There are consequences to locking ourselves in
a fortress. While I was sitting in Sediq’s Restaurant the other day
I got talking to Tawab, one of the boys helping out. He was 19 and
had left Afghanistan when he was 10. His parents had been killed
when the Taliban bombed his village, and he ran away to avoid
recruitment by them. After nine years of wandering in Europe,
including 14 months in a camp in Italy, getting to the UK once and
being deported, and spending three months in a French detention
centre, he has asked the French government to help him go back to
…I want to go back and help my country, I
don’t care about money, I don’t care about Europe. I did not see
any human rights here. And when I get home I will ask for 10
minutes on Afghan TV and I will tell them what I experienced here.
And I will say yes there are some good people, but when Americans
and British come to our country, without passports and with guns,
we should kill them.
He sees the shock on my face.
… You don’t know human rights but you
teach them in Afghanistan! Why do you think I left Afghanistan?
Because if I had not they would have forced me to join a group- it
was the only way to survive. There is no human rights there, the
government fucks people up. It’s impossible to be a normal person
in Afghanistan, the Taliban is everywhere and now we have ISIL. In
Italy I was in a camp for 14 months- but what can I do with Asylum
in Italy when there is no work, no housing no benefits, and yes I
know it’s the same in the UK, I know that now, that is why I am
And tell me this? How can you come and
work in my country, when I cannot work in yours? How can you come
with a Kalashnikov and no passport when I am not allowed in yours?
Your Soldier: He is born in England, he comes to my country, he
walks my roads and mountains and villages with his Kalashnikov, and
we give him tea, we give him everything. I don’t have a
Kalashnikov. I am not like you. I am just a donkey, Afghan, Iraqi,
Syrian, we are all kicked. You see me as a dog, but I am a human
being and all humans are the same. We understand the law, just like
you, we don’t break laws.
So now, when I get home I will go on TV
and tell people: when you get to Europe, they fuck you up, they
beat you and put you in prison, they hate you, so if they come
here, you have to kill them…
I cannot think of anything to say to make it
*All refugee names are changed to protect