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False impressions - Telling the real story

False impressions

Mohammedsaid's difficult life in Europe


Mohammedsaid’s story

“I have arrived here safely, but I don’t know whether I would be granted asylum here as I have fingerprints in other countries,” says Mohammedsaid.

We are in a reception center in the outskirts of Amsterdam. It is one of the hottest days in the summer with the temperature soaring high at 38 degrees. Despite the fan in the room, 32 year old Mohammedsaid is sweating profusely.

Mohammedsaid was forced to take the difficult decision of leaving his wife and two children in Eritrea in the hope that he would support them once in Europe.

Like many, his journey through the Sahara, Libya and Mediterranean was a close shave having witnessed desert kidnappings, many dying of thirst and people falling off the desert trucks and nobody stopping for them.

On arrival to Italy, and lacking knowledge on the European asylum regulations, Mohammedsaid was ill advised by fellow Eritreans and found himself spending all the money he had travelling from one country to another hoping to obtain asylum.

Listen to Mohammedsaid’s account of life in Europe.

Date of interview: 2 July 2015  |  Last modified: 15 April 2016  |
Interview by: Khaled Abdu Mohammedsaid  |  Written by: Christa Awuor Odinga  |  Video by: Max-Michel Kolijn