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Archives (4th July 2018): Tahir is going to Canada soon!

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)