Mukhtar
Somali refugee, age 24

I left Somalia in December 2014. The journey was very long and dangerous. I traveled via Yemen, Saudi Arabia and Turkey. In Turkey I went to the office of the UN to get legal status, but in Turkey, there is nothing for refugees; there are no jobs, and if you have a problem there is no one to help. The Turkish police caught me four times, and gave me a letter to deport me back to Somalia. But I can’t go back to Somalia because there is fighting there. So that’s why I’ve come here, to get justice and freedom.
We stayed for four days on the Turkish coast, with no food and no water, before getting on the boat to come to Greece. We paid the Turkish smugglers small money, but the journey by sea was very dangerous.
My friends told me to travel on the sea, but I don’t have experience of it, and I was very scared. The Turkish police, they beat us – the injuries are still painful – and they tried to stop us. But we said, no, we don’t want to go back, because there is no life there, no justice.
When we landed it was so good and we were very happy. People gave us some food and clothes – all my clothes are in the sea – and gave us a bus to come here. We slept outside last night because the camp is very full. The situation here is very bad – we don’t even have a shower or a toilet. But we will try to find a place inside the camp. It might be tomorrow, it might be two or three days. But I hope it will be soon, because we didn’t get any sleep last night.
Once we get our papers, we will go to Athens and call our relatives. I haven’t seen my relatives for 20 years. Some stay in Norway, some stay in Finland. I will call them from Athens and try to join them as soon as possible.
In Norway I want to finish my education, to study for a diploma so I can get a job. In Norway I hope to find freedom and I hope to find peace. (September 2015)

SEE ALL REVIEWS