It was Refugee Day on 20th June. We had refugee week here at school. It was quite strange, since I am also a refugee. My teacher explained that the purpose of Refugee Week is to celebrate the contributions that refugees make here, as well as to understand the many different challenges that refugees face when they come here to England. My teacher also emphasised how hard it is to be a refugee; she said that it really does take a lot of courage to come here, because we have to leave everything that is familiar to us to go to a foreign land. It can also be really hard for adults to find work in a land that is unfamiliar. When she said this, I thought of mum and dad. I wonder what it was like for them to move here with the whole family. Was it hard? What were they thinking at the time? They must have been really scared. Leaving all their friends, parents and… really, everything that they were familiar with! I still briefly remember my first week here, even though it was so long ago. It was Christmas day, and we had just settled in to a hotel. I remember it being very scary, because we didn’t have any friends or family here in England. We really missed our friends and family and we didn’t know what was going to happen.
However, I imagine that we must have had it easy, compared to a lot of Syrian refugees. We learned that since the Syrian civil war began, 386,000 people have been killed! A lot of the schools, hospitals and other businesses have also been destroyed. We were reading refugee stories today - there was a teacher in Aleppo (one of the biggest cities in Syria) whose house was bombed. She and her two children had to leave immediately. She had just had a baby, and had to carry her for three days. The three of them found refuge in Lebanon and finally, in the UK, but, they still have family in Aleppo. Though Kosovo was unsafe, our house was never bombed and no one in my family was hurt.
This makes me think about my own family and friends in Kosovo. Last night, my parents were talking about how after Brexit, Kosovo will no longer be a part of the EU. I’m not quite sure what that means for Kosovo, but it seems like we will not be returning home anytime soon. I recently wrote to Kitty, who lives in the center of Kosovo, but she has yet to reply.
After our discussion about refugees in class, I noticed a few of my classmates glancing over at me, which made me a little uncomfortable. I was very young when I moved here to London, so I feel like it is my home now. I haven’t been back for so long that I’m not sure what it would feel like. But, did you know that Albert Einstein was a refugee? He developed a theory, or formula for physics. I’m not quite sure what exactly it is, but it is pretty important. I’m really glad that I am living here in London now, but I know one day I want to go back to Kosovo and help the people there.