#Stranded | Aymen

Giorgos Moutafis for SolidarityNow

Aymen Rafi, 39 years-old, 6 months in Lesvos

 “I need to feel human again”

“My name is Aymen Rafi, I am 39 years-old and I am from Iraq. I have studied chemistry. After finishing my studies, I took AutoCAD training classes. The diploma I got gave me the opportunity to work for big telecommunication companies. I had a good salary, a company car and cellphone. I have documents, here with me, that prove everything I tell you. I had a very good life in Iraq. Eventually, the government decided to send me to a hospital in Baghdad. They told me that I had to work there for 5 years in order to get the chemical analyst certification. I worked as a nurse for the first two years, and for the rest three years as a surgical assistant. I didn’t manage to get my certification, because I had to flee my country to save my life.

I am a Sunni. The Iraqi police and government was chasing me because of my religious beliefs. They arrested me, and I spent four days in prison. There, they tortured me by using electroshocks or by hitting me very hard on the head. My father had to bribe the police in order to release me. My father advised me to leave the country; this is why I left everything behind and I came here.

I arrived on the island in October 2017. I live in Moria refugee camp, at the third level which is for the “single men”; among us are Iraqis and a few Syrians. It is very bad here. At first, they put me in a small tent along with four other men. I decided to buy a tent with my own money, because I couldn’t sleep. So far, I have moved my tent four times. I told the camp managers that I will not move again. They don’t offer isoboxes to “single men”, only to families.

We face many problems as there is no hot water and the toilets are dirty. The problem of cleanliness is permanent. Last night, we couldn’t sleep due to cold and the strong wind. Three tents have already been destroyed because of the wind. We don’t have heating, nor electricity. We charge our phones in a isobox.

The war destroyed our lives and we feel broken here. We thought that we were coming to a safe place. We might feel safer than before, people here seem nice, but we don’t have what we need. We asked for heaters and to be moved into isoboxes, but we never got an answer.

I need peace and I need to feel human again. I need good food and to be healthy. I want to feel safe. I want to smile. I want to leave from Moria, but I don’t have any papers. I am stranded here”.