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'News from Roman' 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.

Archives (7th July 2018): Last weekend with Tahir in Bangkok...

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! Winking