Rebuilding life in Wales

Today I am going to talk about the hope that we’ve been given here in Wales (Wrexham) although we have faced some issues.

However, all in all, as a refugee, I would say we are lucky.

When we arrived at Manchester airport, there were Red Cross employees waiting for us with an interpreter. They drove us to the house that had been prepared for us; full of the essentials. Everything was new. They gave us some fundamental instruction about the house and they left us in our comfortable house to have rest from our journey.

They helped us to resettle and have knowledge about the city, the rules and laws and to register with the job centre and GP. We meet every Thursday at the church to read the letters and have English classes.

Sounds quite idyllic! However, our problems started when we went to the college. We discovered that our English was really weak compared to the level that we needed although everybody tells us we speak very well. Due to the fact that we live in a quiet area, we lack the opportunities to practice and improve our spoken language and socialise.   

We don’t have any friends to improve our language. This problem is faced by all Syrian people who arrived in the UK. We don’t have the opportunity to speak English with native speakers.

As you know language is the most complicated barrier which hinders us from getting a  well paid job; especially for us , educated people.

So why doesn’t the UK use the same idea such as in Germany, for example, where they let the refugees do apprenticeships for six months, which gives them the chance to learn language as well as the rules of their job.

The other thing that cause us great concern and anguish is that my parents are still in Iraq. We are thinking about them all the time. They don’t have anybody to help them. My mum is illiterate and suffering from (hypertension) high blood pressure, diabetes and early stage of dementia; she needs so much care. My father also has hypertension, high levels of Cholesterol and lipid, he had a heart attack in Syria, so we are very afraid of another one while they are there by themselves.

They went to a camp near Erbil to be near some old family friends, but the officer, who is responsible for giving Syrian families a tent or a base land with a room, refused to give them one; which made the situation worse. That officer gave every new family a tent except my parents. They rent a house in Erbil which is really expensive and their money is about to run out.

We are trying to get them to the UK to be with me and my sisters. Life is very hard for them and we want to be reunited with them as a family. We filled a form via the British Red Cross 18 months ago. My parents went to a meeting with the UNHCR, and in turn the UNHCR told my parents that they would recall them in 2 to 8 months but my parents have been waiting for a year, and there is no reply.

Finally, I would like to thank everyone who have helped us since we arrived.  

Many thanks

Yasmin

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