Taking On London | The Refugee Diaries

Taking On London | The Refugee Diaries

Today I’m leaving Newcastle
and I am moving to London. I have found a place to stay
with strangers through a Syrian Facebook group. They said it has four walls and
a roof, and that’s all that I need. Since I was young, I dreamed
of studying in London, but I never thought it would happen,
because of a war in my country. I believe my future
is not in Newcastle. I really believe that it
will be in London. TANNOY: We apologise for the late
arrival and departure of this service. It is due to an earlier signal
failure… TANNOY: Please do switch all
electronic equipment to silent mode. BIG BEN CHIMES NEWS READER: Campaigners have been
making attempts to sway voters as the country prepares to make the
historic choice of whether to remain in the European Union
or to leave. The focus of the EU referendum
campaign has shifted to immigration. New figures showed that net
migration to the UK had risen to the second highest level
since records began. I don’t know anyone in London. Maybe you start with the bad things. After that I can move myself. I’m here to do something
I always wanted to do. SHUTTER CLICKS Everyone would love to, or would
dream to, study or stay in London. People started to say, like,
“You can find a job easily. “You don’t need to study.
Just work whatever you want. “And you will really earn
a lot of money.” But it’s not easy to live in London.
It’s not easy at all. The transportation,
it’s too expensive. I can’t pay the payment of the rent. Today, I went to the job centre. I was receiving money from the
Home Office and it’s now stopped and the job centre,
they have to start my benefits. So, every two weeks they’re going
to check if I’m looking for a job. I couldn’t prove my address.
Now I can’t pay a deposit and I can’t pay
one month in advance. I don’t have that much money. But
she told me, “You should find a job. “I don’t know how, but you should
find a job. We can’t help in this.” If I am thinking to stop studying
and cancel the idea, could work a lot to send money
for my parents. I already spent all our money
and it’s not easy just to keep sitting here without helping them. Hi. Hi. How are you?
I am actually looking for a job. Do you think I can find a job here? Have you any work experience? Well, my normal job,
it’s, like, electronic. OK. Unless you have a bit more
experience on this work, I’m sorry, but no. That’s fine, that’s fine. Sorry. Thank you very much.
Thank you. See you later. Hi. Hello. I’m actually
looking for a job. OK. Do you think it’s possible
to find a job here? Well, we’re a new shop, so we’re not hiring at the moment.
OK. OK? Yeah. Sorry about that. No, that’s fine. Have a good day.
Thank you, thank you. I have read that you are looking
for a waiter. Yeah. I’m actually, to be honest,
I haven’t tried before. We just require a proper experience
to be barrista, cos you need to, like, know how
to make the coffee. Yeah, sure. Thank you very much.
You’re welcome. Have a nice day. What kind of job do you think
a guy like me can do except washing dishes or waiter
in a restaurant or…? I’m not saying it’s bad to do this,
but I didn’t used to work like this. I have no experience
about all of this. NEWS READER: Official statistics show that migration to the UK
rose to 333,000 last year. The figures have been seized upon
by the Brexit campaign, saying it was cynical of the
government to pledge to bring immigration down to the tens
of thousands. PHONE-IN CALLERS: I don’t think
our National Health and everything can cope with it. They don’t work here. They don’t pay anything, taxes,
but the Government, they give them houses
and benefits as well. I actually was talking with
my friends, “What will happen? “What will happen for me or you?” Maybe one day they will ask for
a referendum for the refugees. Some amount of people, they are
voting against the immigration. I know that it’s their right. They see people, like,
strange people or weird, random people in their country. I’m not here for just as
a tourist or studying. I ran away from my country
because of the war. That’s what destroyed my country,
that people divided. SKYPE TONE RINGS MUFFLED RADIO COMMUNICATIONS I really need a proper job, which it
won’t be available if I don’t study. The personal statements,
I didn’t know what should I write. “I am Syrian refugee,”
just like that, or what I should write? You should explain why you want
to study this course and why you want to study at this
particular university. You don’t have any certificates,
but you can still explain, like, you did this for two years
and you don’t have a certificate because of the war. I’m not sure that I can make it
well to study again. But I have to try. It’s better than just to do nothing. Especially, like, for my parents. They will like, they ask me
to study, not to just… ..work. They said, “You should
study, it will be better for you.” I felt… ..that I will never study again. You can still try now. There is still time. It’s better to try, right? Now I am planning to study. If I’m accepted, I will get
an accommodation, a cheap one, and I will get the loan
to help me to start. I am young and I am alone. I have no wife, I don’t have
children, I don’t have family here. As long as I am alone here,
it means that I can do it. And that’s actually the dream of me,
what I have dreamed before.

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About the Author: Sam Caldwell


  1. I'm sorry but thousands of British people have degrees and Masters qualifications and have to work as waiters, barristers and general workers.. My friend works in a restaurant where the Polish girl in the kitchen has a masters in midwifery, the manager used to manage an oil company and every waiter has a degree.. Unfortunately in the UK you have to work anything to survive and then chase your dream career.. I feel sorry for this man but first get any job work, hard for a couple of years, save the money then think about continuing your study

  2. where on earth does he get the money for the tuition fees? Or will he just take a student loan and refuse to pay it back like a lot of foreign students do?

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