In a society like ours where all we care about is likes and followers on apps like Instagram, it is important to take a minute to think about the real lives and the real stories right besides us in our day-to-day lives.
Every year at Fagerlia, there is something called International DayInternational Day is a special event thrown to show and tell us different types of stories from around the world. This years topic was solidarity. We had the great honour of meeting and hearing the fantastic and terrific stories of previous refugees who have migrated to Norway. They talked about their lives before, during and after their trips.
Hearing about the way most of them used to have perfectly normal lives up to the point where things went wrong, was somewhat heartbreaking. Knowing that they used to be, in some ways, just like me, and then suddenly lose everything. I heard stories about the horrible conditions they lived in during their escape, people without any form for rights being beaten, tourtured and killed, and I even heard stories about children the same age as my lovely little sister, die on refugee-boats when they were trying to escape the hellish lives they lived.
As a matter of fact, there was something that surprised me quite a lot. Sagvan Fathi, a refugee from Iraki Kurdistan, who arrived in Norway almost twenty years ago, told us a somewhat controversial story of something that happened just a week or two ago. Being a successful businessowner in Norway with brown skin, apparently brings a lot of attention. The last couple of years he has been running a car washing business in the garage of Amfi Moa. Through hundreds of hours and a lot of hard work, he has managed to make a name of himself and earned a lot of money, which truly is one of the most inspirational things I have heard. But the thing that surprised me is what he told us next. As I said, something happened just a week or two ago; fifteen people working for the police, the government and Arbeidstilsynet came into his little shop to inspect his workplace. Never in my life have I ever heard of something like this happening. That Arbeidstilsynet sometimes come in for random inspections is not new to me, but never have I heard of more than maybe two or three people coming in. Next he told us that was not the first time they had come. Of course, there is no proof that this has anything to do with him being a non-ethnic Norwegian, but bringing into consideration that he is the only one who has experienced this at that huge mall, and additionally being the only immigrant owner… It makes you think.
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
– Martin Luther King Jr.