No Longer Strangers? My Family’s Experience of Seeking Asylum in the West
The story of a refugee family in The Netherlands, demonstrating what it is really like to be a refugee from a family which has walked that road.
What is it like to seek asylum in Europe? What welcome is given and what difficulties faced? No Longer Strangers tells the story from the inside. Forced to flee their native country because of their faith, Javed and his family found themselves living in the Netherlands, sharing a cramped, single room with nine other people. Prevented from working and stripped of their identity, they were surrounded by strangers and having to adjust to an alien culture, climate and language. Depression was a constant threat, but inspired by their Catholic faith they determined to persevere and change their environment. Seeking to serve their fellow refugees and engage the local community, they brought renewed hope and purpose to many and began to connect with Dutch people. Caught in a system that can seem designed to keep people on the outside, Javed’s account shows the strength needed to survive Europe’s “welcome” and what we can do to help.