Blog

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Blog on romanmajcher.eu is a place where I write about events or experiences that are important to me for one or another reason. It is a space where family and friends can get themselves updated on my latest undertakings, and where occasional readers can learn about issues which are important to me. Enjoy the read!


Boys cry

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There is an old and famous Polish comedy by Olaf Lubaszenko titled ‘Boys do not cry’. As you can easily imagine, the movie suggests that men are meant to be tough, no matter what happens in life…

I have to admit, I, and Tahir for that matter, may have been a little emotional recently. Success with Tahir’s resettlement visa for Canada, confronted us with a situation, when we needed to say goodbye to each other. Although Tahir is not scheduled to travel to Toronto until 15th August, yesterday, he needed to turn himself in to Bangkok’s immigration detention centre (IDC). Refugees in Thailand are not recognised by the authorities, and despite a fact that the United Nations encourages countries to extend protection to people such as Tahir (being recognised as UNHCR refugees), Thailand chooses to treat refugees as illegal migrants (since they do not possess valid visas to stay in the country). A part of being an illegal migrant in Thailand implies that one can not leave the country without being officially punished. The consequences are severe: high financial fine, and an obligatory detention (3 weeks), and eventual ban from returning to the country for at least five years. Bottom line, for Tahir it means that before being allowed to reach his free life in Canada, he needs to serve his imprisonment - however cruel this sounds. So with a heavy heart, and with the feeling of gross abuse of justice and fairness, Tahir had been saying his good byes to all of us, just before reporting to the IDC in Bangkok, so he could start his last piece of ordeal before he is allowed to be set free. Although I am revolting, I will not explain why I consider his (and not only his) detention to be grossly unfair. Instead, I would rather reflect on the amazing friendship I received from Tahir within last 4 years. 

We are both perfectly different in so many ways. Tahir coming from one of the most disadvantaged parts of the Pakistani society - disadvantaged to the point of being oppressed. Oppressed to the point of needing to run away from Pakistan for his life, as many wanted to kill him for being born to a religion that they did not like. His disadvantaged status has also had another major impact on his life: lack of education. He only graduated from 4 years of primary school - the rest of his schooling was not possible, as his family needed to flee from the place where they used to live and go to hiding from people that wanted to harm them. As time passed, Tahir’s life continues to be filled with examples of suffering and humiliation - including his most recent years in Thailand. His arrival to Bangkok, in search of safety, cost him a great deal of a sacrifice. During first years of his stay in the country, Tahir fell prey of being a victim of slavery; beatings and sever abuse; humiliation from criminals, police, or even regular residents that treated him poorly; fear of being detained and being sent back to Pakistan; hunger and malnutrition; fear of not knowing what the future may bring for him; fear of not being able to live a fulfilled life - ever; and fear that his life is doomed, and worse so, a conviction that he does not deserve any better, merely because he is ‘a worthless Ahmaddyia from Pakistan’ - obviously a disadvantage that one can not challenge - ever! 

On the other hand, there is me… over-privileged, white male, with fantastic education, great career, amazing lifestyle, being able to travel the world, and receiving an automatic recognition of ‘being trustworthy’ simply because of my ‘status’, my EU passport, my skin colour… and other advantages that I have not really earned - but received by being born into the society and the country where I come from. Yes, I may have got some hurdles in my life; yes, I may have even worked very hard… However my issues have been always been solvable, and I have never ever needed to worry about my very existence. 

Then we, the two very different people, met. Two people of completely different experiences, nationalities, background, culture, using different languages, having different approaches to religion, one being young, the other one being middle aged… met. A strike of luck, a pure coincident, caused that we happened to be in the same place. One was on the street begging; the other one was in a restaurant overlooking the very same street. One was full of despair, hungry and seemingly hopeless; the other one was enjoying his favourite shrimps and soda water with lime, planning his next overseas holidays… One was poor; the other one was affluent. Against the odds, these two started talking, and against the odds they continued talking for these years! Yes, Tahir has become my best friend and he is the best friend I have ever had, and possibly, I will ever have. Our friendship has become so special that some people even assumed and speculated that we may be a romantic couple! 

I am not sure what and why things happened as they have. All what I know however is that Tahir challenged me, challenged my values to the very core… He made me realise my arrogance, and my privileges in very practical ways. Before meeting Tahir, I might have been aware of my lucky life and how unfair the world around me was, but in all honesty, this realisation was very theoretical and non-threatening to my safety zone. Meeting him changed a lot in my life. Slowly, patiently and gradually, Tahir started teaching me how to slow down; to appreciate small moments; to appreciate what I have; to notice other people around me and appreciate their ways of perceiving the world. Tahir also taught me to be less scared and less judgemental of people, who may be different from me and people that I have got as my friends. Importantly he taught me to trust, trust others, and trust them against the odds. He also taught me that it is absolutely okay to be hurt, and it is okay to be cheated by others: he taught me that it was better to give credit of trust to those around you, and possibly get disappointed, rather than allowing your fears win over you, and potentially overlooking wonderful moments with fellow humans. 

Now, my best teacher has left my life in Thailand, and is preparing for his freedom in Canada. When we talked to each other for the last time, hours before his detention, we were both clearly moved and emotional. This is when Tahir told me that he was very grateful to have met me, and that he did not know how he could thank me for giving him a new life. Yet it is me, who owes my life to him, at least - if not more, in the same way that he thinks that he owes his life to me. Just like you, I do not know how to thank you, Tahir, for all what you have done and you are doing to me. I am the luckiest person on earth to have met you and I will always be grateful for looking after me, for being my teacher and for being such a kind person to me. I am thrilled of the opportunities, the future may bring to you, and I just hope that the last ordeal that the Thai authorities have prepared for you will not be too difficult to handle. Thank you, my friend. I will miss your company dearly!

And who says that boys do not cry?


Last weekend with Tahir in Bangkok

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Although Tahir will travel to Toronto only on 15th August, it is already my last weekend with him here in Bangkok. On 19th July, Tahir will need to report to the Thai Immigration Detention Centre (IDC), which is (sadly) a part of the procedure before the resettlement to Canada. Refugees, even if recognised by UNHCR, and in Tahir’s case Canada are considered to be illegal in the country, and the law says that they need to be punished/detained before they are allowed to leave the country. This is an extremely humiliating procedure, but there is no way around it, so I will not write more about it, as it makes very sad - and I think that it is not worth spoiling our joy of the weekend together, and the joy that Tahir will soon be free in his new country! We are going to celebrate by making short excursions in and around Bangkok - to places, which Tahir likes! Tonight, we are also going to visit our dear friend for a dinner, who decided to treat us as a form of ‘farewell’ to him! It will be fun and good day!

On Monday, I am travelling to Jakarta in Indonesia for two days, where I am going to be participating in discussions over future of urban refugees in the country. Discussions will be held with UNHCR, but also members of civil society, NGOs, UN agencies, diplomatic community and members of the Indonesian Government. I am quite looking forward to it, and hope that we will be able to advocate that refugees and people in need of international protection should not be seen as burden, but given care and attention so that they can thrive and become independent fast. Keep your fingers crossed, so that the conversations go well. 

I will be back to Bangkok on Wednesday, say hello to Tahir again, and prepare for a trip to Bangladesh, where I am going to go on Thursday for 2 weeks. As in previous months, my trip to Dhaka is related to supporting our humanitarian response to the Rohingya crisis. It is also, when I am in Bangladesh, Tahir will go to the detention centre… It will be hard not to be with him, but then, I have managed to arrange a widespread support for him (from many of our friends) who will be visiting him daily, when I am not here. 

I should be back to Bangkok at the end of July, and the plan is that I will be both visiting Tahir in the IDC (until he leaves), and also bid him a farewell at the airport on 15th August!

Next 5 weeks will be definitely stressful and lots of changes will happen around here. A good thing is that all the changes are for the best, at the end, and this keeps me happy and going. In any case, keep your fingers crossed for the time to fly fast! ;)

Tahir is going to Canada soon!

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Dear Friends: 

 

I have been dreaming to be able to write this email for so many years… Now, the dream is becoming a reality. Tahir has been granted his refugee resettlement visa, and he will be travelling to Canada 15th August (provisional date of his flight ticket). 

 

There are so many of you that made this joyful day possible to arrive. We would like to thank you for being a part of this amazingly difficult but also enjoyable journey for everything that you have done. We would not be able to get here (really mean it), had it not be for your support. While there are so many things that you have done for both of us, I would like to list just a things for what we are we are grateful (so you realise how much you have done): 

 

  • Continuous support and belief of my mum and dad and reassuring me that supporting Tahir in his efforts of becoming a free person is the only right thing to do!
  • Continuous support of Tahir’s parents in Pakistan for showing trust in me, and supporting us in in the ways that they could in their circumstances. Very grateful for continuous prayers and best wishes that they offered for the cause, for Tahir and for me!
  • Continuous support of our multiple Thai and foreign friends living in Thailand, for trying to find ways to make Tahir’s life a bit safer and more bearable and for giving us encouragement when things were very low and depressing!
  • Wonderful support of friends in Pakistan for showing Tahir that not everyone in Pakistan is against the Ahmadis and that there are many, many wonderful people in Pakistan, who oppose hatred! A special and big, big thank you goes to my Pakistani friend, whom I used to work in my organisation for helping us arranging practical things that we needed to deal with in Pakistan (and our eternal gratitude for helping Tahir’s mum in need)!
  • Amazing Ahmadiyya friends/refugees in Bangkok for giving us advice on how to lead a life of a refugee in Bangkok safely, how to overcome the injustice with a smile and for teaching me humility that there are always things that one can do to make things a bit better!
  • Continuous support from refugee professionals in Thailand for giving us advice on how to keep Tahir safer and preparing us for interviews, helping us with applications, etc…
  • Amazing support from our Australian friends for doing an incredible work in trying to resettle Tahir to Australia. Australia may not have worked out for him, but your determination and amazing commitment filled us with hope, and love. A big, big and special thank you goes to our special friend, whom I used to work with and who did not hesitate to offer her unconditional help, the moment that we thought there was a slim opportunity to bring Tahir to the country. We may not have succeeded, but we will never forget all the wonderful passion and encouragement!
  • Amazing support from our Polish friends for doing exactly the same as our Australian friends tried doing – with a very, very special thank you going to the Catholic nun, who decided to stand for Tahir and advocate for him in front of various institutions; to the amazing lawyer from Warsaw, who tried helping us overcoming legal hurdles in whatever way he could (free of charge), to journalists of Wiez magazine, who made Tahir’s case being known to the people of Poland and for believing in us until the end; to many friends that proved that overwhelming anti-refugee paranoia in Poland  is far from being universal!
  • Support and commitment from our Swiss friends (especially one family), who decided trying sponsoring him to come to Switzerland and supported us throughout the process. It did prove too difficult to get Tahir to Switzerland, but we are grateful for your compassion and support!
  • Continuous and amazing support of my colleagues and friends in my own organisation. I can’t express enough how grateful I am for you bearing with me, listening to me when I was low when I was stressed, for making me smile, for helping me arranging my professional life in a way that I could still look after and support Tahir throughout all these years. 
  • Continuous support of hundreds (I mean hundreds) friends globally for helping us meeting financial needs for lodging Tahir’s application to Canada, for continuously expressing your solidarity in multiple ways, for not giving up on us, for giving us advice, for visiting us here in Thailand and making us feel appreciated and supported!
  • Finally, a very, very big THANK YOU goes to our multiple friends in Canada! I can’t express how profoundly grateful we are to our Tahir’s application sponsors – 3 wonderful couples, who did not hesitate creating the legal entity/group (called Group of Five) that has been responsible for piloting Tahir’s case in front of Canadian authorities and took the responsibility to look after his well-being when he finally reaches Toronto. You have been instrumental in making this dream of making Tahir a free human being come true! A big, THANK YOU goes to Tahir’s teacher – who has worked with him for nearly a year now – preparing Tahir (over Skype) for his arrival to the country (teaching him English, helping him grasping Canada’s culture, and the country’s peculiarities). 

 

As his departure from Thailand is slowly becoming a reality, I can’t resist reflecting about all these things that have happened within last four years. If there is anything more that I can write is that I am sure that Tahir will be a great resident of Canada and I think that Canada is lucky having him, the same way as he is lucky to go to Canada. I know that when he is allowed to walk free, he will do all what he can to contribute in making our world a little better for all of us! Things will still be tough and difficult for him, we know it – but I am sure that he will just do great. Once again, thank you ALL for making it possible!

 

Sending you all warmest regards and hugs,

Roman (and Tahir)

Time to rest. We travel to Ko Chang!

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I am exhausted by the amount of meetings, seminars and travelling that I have done within last 4 weeks. Yesterday, I travelled back from Dhaka to Bangkok, and when I arrived home, I went to bed and slept for 11 hours non-stop. It felt good, and I still feels good, as I can relax for a little bit longer. I am starting my mini holidays today and will be free from work until next Friday (the full week). Having all this free time at hand gives us an opportunity to explore some of Thailand’s beauty. Tomorrow, together with Tahir, we will drive to Ko Chang in eastern part of the country. We already went there some time ago, when my mother was around in January, but we liked it so much that we decided to return and spend some more chilling time there. Can’t wait to get there. Hurrah!

Right after returning from holidays, I will be travelling to Jakarta, where I will participate in the UNHCR advocacy/awareness raising event on urban refugees living in Indonesian cities. UNHCR will show the movie featuring lives of the refugees in the country, which will be followed by the discussions on what we can all collectively do to make the lives of the refugees a bit easier and more bearable. As the event will be attended by the officials from the Government of Indonesia, we hope that we will all be able to engage in some good conversations that may lead with policy changes that will be beneficials to those who needed to flee their homes in search of safety and protection.

FIFA World Cup fever

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So the month of life disruption has started. Many of my colleagues and friends are now all excited about what happens in Russia: about scores, matches and all kind of drama related to teams losing or winning. I dislike football, especially what is associated with football: explosions of national pride, competition, obscene amount of money that the championships involve. I do however recognise that lots of people like it, and are excited about the games, so I will try adapting and I just hope that it will pass quickly and that I will not be too annoyed in the process ☺️. 

After a considerable amount of time in Dhaka, I am now back to Bangkok for a little over a week. While being here, I managed to have my medical check-up and start planning a possible departure of Tahir from Thailand. We are still not there yet, but with the Embassy of Canada advising us that his case is now having a final review by the resettlement officer, things may go very fast, and we need to be prepared for things to be developing within days, or weeks.

I am feeling very tired these days… too many things happen too unexpectedly and fast. I am therefore glad that I will have a week off at the end of June (after returning from Bangladesh). Together with Tahir, we started looking at the map of Thailand planning what we may want to do. It may well be one of the last trips in this country together, if he indeed departs for Canada soon!

Swamped with work

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End of May and beginning of June have overwhelmed me with work. As rains are intensifying, the race to prepare the refugee community to the consequences of it continues. The challenges are overwhelming… you can perhaps appreciate them, by reading/watching Ben Solomon’s interactive presentation at the New York’s Time (excellent work). Our bit of the contribution to meet the challenges is to make sure that we channel all available funds that we have to agencies that work on the ground - in the quickest and the most accountable manner possible. As we are dealing with substantial amount of money, there is plenty to do! 

It seems that I will carry on being involved in Bangladesh programmes for a while, that is until we manage to recruit a new person for whose position I am filling in (Head of Office for Bangladesh). That may take additional 6 weeks or so - meaning that I will spend considerable amount of time in Dhaka and Cox’s Bazar - with some short trips to Bangkok (to make sure that I provide a minimum attention to my ‘usual’ tasks in Thailand, and that I check on Tahir).

Talking of my responsibilities in Thailand, I am travelling to Bangkok on 12th June, so that I can participate in a panel discussion that is going to be arranged by UNHCR on the situation of the refugees in Bangkok and other cities of the country. The discussion will arranged for members of the Thai government, international community, and civil society organisations. The idea is that we will try to open up discussions that we would like to end up in a massive changes of legal framework in Thailand that would legalise the asylum seekers/refugees in the country in one or another way. While this is a professional engagement, the issue is very dear to me because of Tahir. It is Tahir that made me understand and appreciate how incredibly difficult on every level the lives of refugees in Thailand are… and it is him who motivates me to push for the needed changes in the way that I can from my own professional and personal perspective. I will report on the event next week. 

Tahir is in the middle of his medical check-ups/vaccinating. He is now ready with the investigations, but still needs to receive some vaccines. He is scheduled to finish all on 20th June. Once all is completed, his medical file will be sent to the Canadian authorities for their evaluation. Then we will be waiting for the final decision on his resettlement, and hopefully for the date of his travel to Canada!

I look forward to hearing from you in one or another way. You may always reach me via this email: webmaster@romanmajcher.eu, in case you wish to do that!


May newsletter

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So here comes a copy of the newletter, sent out to my friends: 


'Dear Friends, 

I hope that this email finds you well!

A few months have passed without news from here, so I thought that it was time for a short update from me. 

I will start off from some potentially positive news. A little over a week ago, Tahir was approached by International Organisation for Migration (IOM) and invited to attend his medical check up, which took place a few days ago. A fact that IOM got in touch with him suggests that Tahir’s criminality and security checks (related to his resettlement to Canada) had been successful (Canada does not ask IOM to perform medical check-ups before these checks are completed successfully). Our understanding is that the medical check-up is the last step, before the final resettlement offer is given. Although, we have not secured the final resettlement decision yet, we are obviously very, very happy. If all goes according to plan, the Canadians should have all results of the medical tests around end of June (the medical procedures actually take time, as they involve obligatory vaccinations that are administered over the period of 4 weeks). After the receipt of the medical results, the Canadian authorities will need between 4 to 12 weeks to issue Tahir’s travel documents (assuming that he will have a positive decision). That means that we may see Tahir packing and travelling to Canada in August/September! ❤️❤️❤️ Please your fingers crossed that all goes well!

While we are optimistic about the resettlement progress, we are slightly worried about Tahir’s mum. She has been ill for some years, but recently her health deteriorated. We are not sure at this stage what the health issue is, but she stopped walking. Getting help that she needs is quite complicated. As you may remember Tahir’s family belongs to a Muslim religious minority that is called Ahmaddyia. Unfortunately, the Ahmadis are subjected to a severe persecution in Pakistan (very reason, why Tahir needed to flee the country), which manifests itself in various ways. Access to medical services (especially for a poor and illiterate woman, as Tahir’s mum is) is constrained too. Fear of not being accepted by the doctor, lack of money, physical distance to a decent health facility all contribute… This is why Tahir’s mum has never been able to visit a proper specialist and has not been diagnosed properly. However, like in many seemingly hopeless situations, there are amazing people that are willing to go an extra mile or two to help! Together with some wonderful friends, we started looking around to see how we could find someone try finding the sources of illness and suffering. The people that we connected with have been absolutely amazing and helped us find some of the best facilities in the province where Tahir’s mother lives. Not only this, we managed to find a doctor that has already called his mum and reassured her that she was going to be safe and comfortable with her. She also agreed to make all necessary tests without charging any consultation fees, and committed that she will try to be as helpful as she can be. Not only this, our Pakistani friends promised to help us in making all transfers of funds that may arise (there may be some expenses beyond the consultation fees) during the process! Clearly we are so grateful and happy to our friends (they know, who they are)… A BIG, BIG THANK YOU! Mum is scheduled to travel to hospital, most probably on Thursday. Please keep your fingers crossed that we figure our how to help her, and that we will be able to actually make Tahir’s mother a little bit better!

Professionally, I have been heavily involved in Bangladesh projects for quite some weeks. As you may know Bangladesh hosts nearly 1 million Rohingya refugees from Myanmar, and is home to the largest refugee camp in the world (if you are not aware of it, please google up ‘Kutupalong mega-camp’). Working on this crisis is a real emotional drain. The level of misery and suffering that the Rohingya and Bangladeshi host communities go through is so immense that is difficult to describe… Visiting the camps, reading about the challenges, and then trying doing something that would at least minimally eased the situation is a roller-coaster. One day you are happy with very small successes – that may be important at a given time, then next moment you get depressed when you realise that these small advances actually do not solve the overall situation and are not going to end the sources of the crisis. The humanitarians may be successful (to a smaller or bigger degree) in providing basic life sustaining services – or even successful in actual saving some lives, but we are absolutely not equipped in fixing the problem. It is the mighty and powerful world decision makers that need to make the change happen. Sadly today, in my mind, we do not see a lot of signs that the change will come, which means that the most likely scenario is that we will see the crisis continue for years to come.

Personally, I have restarted my Portuguese lessons. I have skype lessons with my new amazing teacher, who is based in Lisbon. I am enjoying them tremendously, and always look forward to them. The lessons are not only stimulating, but make me feel happy about having my little place in Portugal!

I am trying to plan some of my holiday movements for next months, but it proves to be challenging, as we still do not know when exactly Tahir may be able to travel Canada, and there are still quite lack of clarity over how much of my time I would need to invest in supporting our Bangladesh projects (which involves frequent trips there). I hope however that I will be able to travel to Europe (Poland and Portugal) sometime soonish! I guess that I would also travel to Tornonto too, so that I can make sure that we all welcome him in his new country, when the time is due!

I miss hearing from you! Please do forgive me not being in touch often enough. I guess my age is catching up with me, and I do get tired quicker than some years ago 😉. 

Sending hugs to all of you!
Roman (and Tahir says hello too)'

Hospitals and medics

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Last week was all about doctors and hospitals. For now, all is good news, but there was definitely some drama happening in between. However I will start with the best news first. Tahir finally got called to do his medical tests, which means that he had successfully passed his security and criminality check in his resettlement process! Those of you, who know the story of Tahir, and are aware about all the hurdles that he has gone through in his strive to search for a safe place to live will appreciate how happy this piece of news has made us. Now, we need to wait for the results of various tests, and hopefully start thinking of the last phase of his struggle: packing for Canada! :) This is likely to take another 2 - 3 months, of course given that all goes as we hope it will. 

Staying with Tahir: his mum, who is in Pakistan, has become ill. We do not know what the problem is, but she can now hardly walk, and her condition is getting worse. Being a poor, and an uneducated person from a religious minority does not make things easier to help her. Access to medical services is limited. This is mainly out of fear that one will be mistreated, if the doctor, nurse, etc. will find out what one's religion is (which is not that unlikely). Also poverty and consequently, lack of education, makes you more vulnerable, as you do not know what your rights may be. Tahir’s mum for example, was already brave enough to visit a doctor in her little town, but all what the doctor did was giving her multivitamins, even if it was clear that she was seriously ill. He just did not bother helping, and only wanted to make sure that he receives his fees. She was obviously too shy, or possibly even unaware that this was not fair, and that the doctor simply did not do a good job (either intentionally or not). Bottom line is that we wasted lots of time, before we found out that nothing was done to investigate the source of her problem, and that she was not treated adequately at all. It all resulted with her health deteriorating further (while taking her multivitamin pills). We do however, potentially, have some reason for hope now. A very good friend of ours, who is in Pakistan started helping us out in admitting Tahir’s mum to a very good hospital in Lahore (not far from where she lives). She reassured us that Tahir’s mum would be well treated, and the doctors in that establishment are all open minded, and do not mind treating patients of various backgrounds and religion. Not only this. They also said that they would not charge us for the service and would do whatever they can to help, until she feels better! She should be admitted to the hospital still this week, and hopefully, soon we will be able to plan what we could do to make her feel a little bit better! Watch this space for more updates, as they are likely to come soon!

Finally, just a day before I was about to leave Dhaka for Bangkok, I had a small incident in Bangladesh. When I had my lunch, I consumed a hard object that somehow ended up inside my sandwich (as it turned out, it was a small nail/hook). I will spare you all the drama and details, but just mention that the whole situation ended up in emergency endoscopy and colonoscopy and two days in the hospital. Luckily all ended up well, and I am now in Bangkok recovering and getting better! 

What a week!

Rains, rains, rains...

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The rainy season has arrived to Dhaka, and to the rest of the country. Rains here are impressive. It just gets very, very dark and it feels like late at night, even if you may be in the middle of the day, and then it pours buckets of water… it carries on like that for 30, 40 minutes, and then it clears up. I love rain here in Dhaka, it helps keeping the air pollution down, and makes the temperature bearable. 

Each time it rains, I am also getting scared though. Just 300 km south of Dhaka, we have one of the largest concentration of refugees in the world, living in camps that are among muddy and sandy hills. As you may expect, there is no proper infrastructure to withstand bad weather. Each rain session there potentially means floods and landslides - which can kill people, block roads - and thus access to basic services, and compromise sanitation systems - contributing to a possibilities of spreading diseases such as cholera… We are bound for the disaster in the refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar. A part of optimistic me hopes things will not be that bad, but the optimism is based on nothing but wishful thinking. Things are very likely to be bad, and we may be experiencing emergencies within emergencies… Scary indeed. 

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One of the camp roads right after a small shower.

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Imagine this kind of environment exposed to heavy rain pour...


I am going to be travelling to Cox’s Bazar and visiting the camps this week. The main reason for the visit will be an attempt of understanding what else we all could do to minimise the suffering of people, when the bad weather becomes a reality in the area. 

On another note, we are still waiting for the news from the Canadians with regards to Tahir’s security and criminality clearances. I still have not managed to control being anxious. I wished so much that we already have some answers!

Security & Criminality checks are still pending

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Today, two months have passed since Tahir’s security/criminality checks for the refugee resettlement to Canada started. While this process can last much, much longer and there is no reason to worry. Nevertheless, I somehow find it difficult to relax. I wish that this long roller-coster would finally finish. I worry about Tahir and his future, and wished so much that we received a positive final answer from the Canadian authorities soon. I guess the is to take a deep breath and be patient though… 

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