Wednesday, 13 November 2019

A Girl from Somalia (21)

Within the project #StatelessJourneys supported by the European Network on Statelessness, we talked to a girl from Somalia:

"I am from Somalia, from a village near Mogadishu. I lived there with my parents. I am their only child. I finished four years of primary school in my village, but I had to leave school after fourth year, since my family decided that it was better for me to stay at home and help my mother with the housework. We are a poor family and my parents could not afford to buy my school books. My parents had the intention to marry me to an older man from our village. I did not like that man and did not want to get married, so I escaped from home.

That is why I decided to go to Europe. I do not have family or friends in Europe. I have just heard stories about Europe from people I was traveling with. I had to get a false passport to be able to travel from Mogadishu to Istanbul. I had never had a personal document before. Once I tried to obtain an ID card in our local municipality, I gave some money, but never got that document. In my village a lot of people are without documents, because you do not really need one. If you want to visit a doctor, you just need to pay for the doctor’s services. You can also attend primary school without a personal document. My family was poor and I never travelled outside of my village.

At the airport in Mogadishu I met with a smuggler who gave me my passport. I was scared that the border control would notice that it was a fake one. Luckily that did not happen and I flew to Istanbul. From Turkey we went through Greece, Albania, Kosovo and now I am in Serbia. In all these countries on my way to Serbia I stayed in the smugglers’ houses, hiding from the police. In total, I travelled around five weeks from Somalia. Now I am staying in a hostel in Belgrade, but in a few days I will continue my journey. I am still not sure where I want to go, but I must make a decision soon." 

Photo by Bosko Djordjevic.

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