My biggest wish is to lead a normal life

31.03.2015 noise of words

It's an easy wish. But ... I am less fortunate in life.

I came to Berlin to start a new life, a beautiful life, and to find work. I have quite a few skills, but there is one little problem … I do understand neither German nor English. I speak Italian, Egyptian and a little Spanish. But … when interviewed at court I pretended not to speak any Italian. There is only one thing I am afraid of - that I will be dismissed. I want to stay here. I know myself: I am smart, honest, and I really want to work. I have been working since I was small. However, when you start a new life, when you're in unchartered waters, then of course it is difficult at first to understand or speak this new world, as all of it is new.
It has been three months since I came to Germany. My first time ever in Germany.
Yes, I have been in Italy for quite some time, but I told the police that I had only been there for a short amount of time, just about 4 months. I said that because I was afraid of being dismissed. I don't want to go back as there is nothing.
I left Egypt as a child, 12 or 13 years old. I took off with other villagers and some of my cousins. I have a lot of cousins … I have two uncles in Italy, cousins, brothers for many years. My mother is not in Italy but my three brothers are. My father is dead. He died in Egypt when I was a child. I was only 3 years old when he died.
We grew up in a little house - with sorrow and ache … In need of food, my mother, the three elder brothers and me, the little one. My brother was already 12 when my father died.
My mother and I are in close contact. We always talk.
Yes, I came with a boat - from Libya to Lampedusa. That was back in 2002/2003. I have been through a lot and I know how to live rough. Life has been hard on me, very hard …
I have never actually done any of the things children usually do. Playing and the like …
When I left my mother as a child I thought I would be set off on a journey to a better life - with my brother and the cousins. I would envision them earning money, buying a house and a car - beautiful things.
My mother did not want me to go. "No," she would say, "you must not go, you are a child."
"I want to go," was what I answered. We would put up a fuss. I had seen pictures of Italy, of my brother and cousins who were already there … Technically, it was not possible for me to go without my mother, as a child and with no passport. Eventually, my mother and I would apply for a passport for me. Even there, public authorities would say - "Signora, it won't work, he can not travel, he is only a child."
As soon as I had the passport we would leave - three days in a car from Egypt to Libya, driving through the Sahara. It is so very dangerous.
So many people die on the way, so many, and so many on the boat … Libya itself is a problem, a mess. It is so intricate and hard … one risks to die. I spent 45 days in Libya and three days on the ocean.
In Libya we would stay at a big warehouse. We had cooking facilities and a place to eat. We would sleep on the ground. We would unfurl a carpet … After 45 days the boat was ready. There were 40 of us. The boat was 15 meters long and it was new. There was gasoline; we had some bread and cheese. Then we would take off, 40 people in that small boat … The Ocean was calm, good … Otherwise we would not have taken off. It would have been a deathtrap. You could reach out to the water. It was so close. When reaching Italian waters a cutter would find us. They would call up a big ship and eventually they would accommodate us. I would stay for only a few days in Lampedusa. Then my brother, the cousins, and I would travel to Milan. That was okay. There I would go to school. I would live in a house with my brother and the cousins. However, it was not like "normal" course of life. I would enter a strange new world. I would do so many things without a reason. My family is poor. We are not rich … The purpose of my life has always been to work. I wanted to own a house by the time I am 25, at 30 latest, and a family, and a decent job - a good basic life. But I would not succeed. I am not happy - I have seen so many things, so many things one cannot imagine … I have seen so much pain. I was so very young when told to live on my own. I wasn't as mature as I am now, I was young.
Sometime later, a community would take me in and I would stay for four years. I made an apprenticeship as a painter. I have a certificate. It's a good, a very good certificate. I have a diploma to prove true that I understand Italian and know how to write it. And I have a certificate written by a gentleman from Sicily, verifying that I know how to make Sicilian sweets - Torta, Cassata, Arancini, Cannoli. I am very good at making those. You may want to look at their homepage, it will give you an idea of everything I made: cosenostre.com Via della Chiesa Rossa, 71 in 20142 Milan. We had good times back then, pretty good pay … But then I would enter the world of drugs. I didn't feel well. As if everyone had left me, my brothers … all gone. At first I would do drugs, I would smoke quite a bit of pot and dope, cocaine. Then I would deal. So much … I had enough money, I had work. But getting involved with drugs did not do me any good. At this point my brothers would in fact leave me. They told me to lead a life on my own. Basically, things went well. I had a house, a car, work - I was so stupid, so incredibly stupid. Oh my god! The Italian police and I would clash. I would take issues with the Italian police. I would end up in jail, arrested, imprisoned.
On March 25, 2014 after a year and two months, I was discharged from prison in Pavia.
As an asylum seeker I would go to Switzerland for five months. Basel, Aarau, (…), (…).
I was okay, but unfortunately I would not understand anything as everyone spoke Swiss German. There was no way to stay longer as I did not find work, it was difficult, I would not understand anything. For a while I would make some business with Arabs but then I thought - I will go to Germany, I will try it. I would go back to Italy, from Italy back to Switzerland, and from Switzerland to Germany.
Yes, I am registered in Switzerland …
There are a lot of Italian businesses around here, pizza places. I would like to open up a pastry shop. Seriously, I thought about that - together with you and Aymen. So very nice. I would cook with my hands, make some good stuff … not much money needed to make good food. I could do Dolci (desserts) or work as a painter … But I don't know … I don't know. I know nothing. I am no lucky fellow, believe me …
I don't want to go back o Italy … There is nothing over there. Nothing to eat, no work … only drug dealing … Yes, Italy is beautiful, but there is nothing - Lavoro, work, no. That applies to all of Italy, not even Italians find work. If I were to go back to Italy, where should I go? Should I be drug dealing again? I do not want to do that. I am 25 years old … It is enough … I want to move forward, be with the right people. As soon as I meet the right people my life will change - do you understand that? I want to move forward. I have been to court but I did not tell them my story.
I have been fingerprinted in Switzerland. At first in Italy, then in Switzerland. But that should not be a problem. That is Europe. When the time is up, will I have to go back to Italy? No! This is God's country. We are humans. This is neither my land nor yours. No one has the right to say "you are Egyptian, you are a stranger, your time is up, leave …" We are humans. I am a human. I have a heart, I have eyes … I feel … The earth is accommodating all of us. All of us are guests … It is not my land. It is not your land. The land does not belong to anyone …
I want to stay. I want to lead a normal life: find work, a wife, I want to build a house and start a family. Perfectly normal, normal, like everyone else, like everyone. That would be a wonderful life. But to do all of that I have to find people. Good people, trustworthy, friendly, sympathetic people. Then I'll be able to change my life.
I have become friends with people at the asylum. It is nice in here, all is well. If I go places I instantly meet people. I get along with everyone. Even when I hear words like "shithead" or "bastard" I answer "Thank you, Sir." I always hear the good. But deep down I am not happy with myself. It's not about what others my think about me. It's what I think about myself. Deep down inside.
I am Christian, Christian Orthodox. I believe in Jesus, Mary, the sainthood, God, nothing else. I do not want to believe in anything else. It's enough. All is well.
I have never had a girlfriend. I have never been in love with a woman. I have never had a relationship with a woman. I have been working, I would hang out with friends, but I have never been with a woman … Who is important in my life? No one, except for my mother. Nothing is more important in my life. Only my mother. I saw her last in 2008. In Egypt. Since then, I keep calling her. A lot. I have seen pictures of her.  
There was a time when we would not talk. When I was in jail. It was her heart, she underwent surgery, she could not breath no more. Back then, she would not call me. Where I am from, in Egypt, people talk a lot. They talk all the time. She would ask everyone "Have you heard from my son?" Someone told her that I hade been sentenced to 30 years. My mother heard what people said, "Signora Carima, your son is close to mafia circles, your son was sentenced to 30 years, your son killed someone." My mother was exhausted. I would call her after five, six months: "Filio mio," she would sigh, "Filio mio, dove sei andato?" - "My son, what happened to you?"
"Mama," I would answer, "I am alright. All is well."
My mother lives with an aunt, an uncle, and my brother's fiancée … I have a big family. Very big. Their houses form the village: an uncle here, an uncle there, another uncle - so many of them. They are a community. She is not on her own. I want her to come over for a while; I want to spend some time with her. I want her to see the world. I want to treat her to something wonderful. I want to show her some of Europe. Afterwards, she would go back to Egypt.
I was born in Abnub. Abnub belongs to Assiut municipality. It takes about half an hour by car to go from Assiut to Abnub. Assiut is as big as Berlin.
My biggest wish is to lead a normal life. To live happily ever after with my family, with the world around me. It's a simple wish.
But … I am no lucky fellow. Doomed from the outset.
This is no house of the unfortunate, but it is a house with people in need.
Time flies. No halcyon times though. Future? Yes … maybe I am still waiting for "real life" to happen in the future. But I do not want to wait any longer, I would like to act, I want to do something.
I need some help … a little help … to change my life … if not … I can't go on like this.