The place was crowded. People had been forced into only one fifth of what once was all theirs. We were constantly threatened, bombed, displaced and even slaughtered. We felt insecure and scared but we could not go anywhere. I was upgraded from a refugee to internally displaced person. Not much change – just different words to describe the same suffering and pain. As internally displaced people, we were assigned a monthly food package by a United Nations agency. It allowed us to survive, thanks to donors who shared their money and food with us. My childhood memories? Standing for hours in food lines, moving from one shelter to another, burying loved ones and struggling with disease and health problems.
Life for me has never been stable. Yet I have always dreamed of a place called home. I have often stood by the walls that keep us inside the camps and peeped through holes in them. What my eyes took in was another world. I saw open space and fields, I felt the fresh breeze on my face. I imagined myself at home – in a place where I belonged to the earth, to the sky, to the rocks, to the sand, to the trees, to the hills and to the breeze. A place where I would be welcomed as a human being. To me, home is like nothing else.
Today, the world observes World Refugee Day. On this day, we do not celebrate. We are reminded that there is no place for us in this world. We just remember the moral failure of our human race. On the World Refugee Day, I will only make one wish: that all those around the world forced from their homes, longing for home, will be refugees no more.
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