Winter has come
tempelhofer feld, berlin, 23.1.16
Speech of someone who lives in a hangar at the former Airport Tempelhof
Hello, dear fellow campaigners! Today I won‘t talk myself as I am afraid that the employees or securities of the Tempelhofer Camp recognize me and don‘t let me in again. This happened to other refugees before. Some gave interviews to TV stations and afterwards weren‘t allowed to enter the camp. To protest is a dangerous matter for us. Danger, in fact, was always a part of my life. I came from a country, devastated because of the war. In Afghanistan, there is still war. First the Taliban and now also Daesh is present in my country. Just a few words about my arrival here.
I came from Afghanistan to Germany in 46 days. A big part by foot, in the bus and the boat. When I imagine that they can send us back to Afghanistan in just one day, it dreads me and my heart tightens until it hurts. On my 46-days-journey we lost two companions. In the Iranian mountains they slipped and died. In Iran I was kidnapped. They wanted money which I gave them. At the Turkish border I was kidnapped again. They kept me for a couple of days and pressed money. Then we moved on to Greece, over the Mediterranean Sea. I had fear to get on the boat as I knew that many people died in this sea. On the balkan route I hungered a lot. Back in Afghanistan I heard a lot about Germany. That Germany is nice. That in Germany you have access to education, the possibility for a job training and the chance to live independently. But unfortunately nobody told me that Germany is so cold. If I would have known that, I wouldn‘t have come just with a jumper. I thought, a jumper would be enough.
Now concerning my situation here. In the Tempelhofer Camp. The securities are aggressive. Actually they aren‘t allowed to enter our private rooms. But nonetheless they do it. When I once tried to prohibit them entering the private rooms, they started a fight with me. They disciminated against the people. They make differences between Syrian and Afghan refugees. At least, I have this impression. When they make announcements, normally they are made just in arabic. As if we, the Afghan refugees don‘t exist. I don‘t want to differ between my Afghan and my Syrian friends. Not my Syrian friends and neighbors are the problem but the behaviour of the camp administration.One situation makes this discrimination very clear: Every week we are droven to the showers. We were waiting for the bus. When the bus arrived, employees of the camp asked the waiting people who is Syrian and then they just took the Syrians to the showers. I was so sad that day, but then I decided to wash myself in the room for the toilet, in front of the eyes of everyone.
Why there are no showers at the camp? Why are they transporting us to another place to take a shower and spend a lot of money for that? For a five minutes shower we spend a whole day: Waiting for the bus, driving to the showers, there waiting again, then driving back. That’s so ridiculous that I ask myself: Why do they do this to us? Do they want to waste our time? Do they want to complicate our lives? This is what I ask myself but I don‘t have any answers.And another thing is the hygienic condition. When there is running water for three days, on the fourth day there is no water. There is no washing machine. We have to wash everything by hand on the floor of the toilet rooms, whether bed sheets or plump winter jackets. I can show you photos of that, if you are interested.Now the toilets: The situation improved. Before we had to exit the camp to go to toilet. Now there is a toilet wagon in the Hangar. But before this improvement we had protested the toilet situation. A couple of times. Afghan as well as Syrian refugees complained and then the situation changed.But the worst of all is the food. It comes packed in aluminium cups. Some sludgy mass of I don‘t know what, with rice which never has something like a taste. The breakfast is okay. For us it is okay. But I think, as I observed your breakfast culture a little bit, for you it wouldn‘t be okay.We have already boycotted the food and for two days we didn‘t eat demonstratively.
Of course you have to get used to the food of a foreign country. That’s clear to me. But to the food at the Tempelhofer Lager nobody can get used. Why aren‘t we allowed to cook for ourselves? So many of us would do that from the heart. We could select what we want to eat and it would also cost less as nobody would have to prepare food for us.Why do they just teach us how to eat the fish? Why don‘t they teach us to fish ourselves?
When we bring food from outside of the camp, we aren‘t allowed to take it inside. Even fruits which were bought in a supermarket are prohibited.I also ask myself: What are our rights? Why do we have to live in camps and quarters like this? We are like a sack of potatoes. They take the potatoes, put them in a sack, so they are easier to handle and transport. But I am still glad as I learned a nice saying, here in Germany: I am no foreigner, nowhere in the world. My nationality is human.