He's 27 years old, from the sirian city Homs, and he majored on electrical engineering. He lives stuck in Greece and the asylum application he applied for has been denied. He writes poetry in english.
It's been a year since Methkal Khalawi had to leave his natural country, Homs. The bombs destroyed the historical centre and most of the houses, so living there was becoming harder and harder. He's the youngest of a 8 siblings family. Unfortunately only Methkal and one of his siblings made it out from Siria, because of the high prices that supposes to leave the country.
Methkal is 27 years old. He's always been one of the top students of his class. He got to graduate as an electrical engineer with good grades. After that he also studied english literature, although he couldn't make it to all classes since the war had already began. Before the went again into conflict he had a quite similar life to ours: meeting friends and relatives, walking through his beloved city, going to work, watching movies...
Living under a repressive regime
But Baixar al-Assad regime's was too repressive. From 2010 demonstrations against injustices made by the sirian President and Homs major, accused by being corrupted, took place. Every young person joined this demonstrations, which were peaceful at first. Simultaneously similar demonstrations were taking place in other cities as Damasc or Alep. One day, the government opened fire agaist the protestors at Homs. That night, a hundred people died; Methkal and his friends barely make it and, in fact, one of his friends died there. From then on, demonstrations turned from peaceful into armed protests, leading to war. Methkal no longer joined these demonstrations, he is not into violence. So living in Homs became gradually complicated.
Besides constant bombin from Assad, multiple terrorist groups took advantage from the caotic situation the city was living: citizens were being kidnapped to ask in turn for their lives high amount of money.Methkal, in fact, was kidnapped twice: fortunately, his family counted on enough money to pay for both rescues.
Victim of UE-Turkey's agreement
This is why Methkal decided to run away. Once he got to Turkey, he stayed for three months. He could work there but, according to him, it was under similar slavery conditions. So he decided to cross the sea. He got to the greek island Quios and two months later headed north, willing to cross the border. He's been in a camp next to Salònica since september. Asylum request was denied to him, since he got there when the EU and Turkey's agreement was concluded. He has no clue what his future will be.
His day to day is a long wait therefore. And during what seems an eternal wait, he writes poetry and messages to Europe, and works as translator from arabic to english in order to help those refugees willing to learn the language. But, most importantly, recalls those memories from when he had that life he loved, a decent life, one that was worth living.
One of Methkals poems is the next below:
I'm with you”
My friend said to me
I smiled , I was hiding behind this smile
A flawless river of sadness
But I have to smile
What can I do
No need for others to drawn in my grieve
Sitting alone in my tent waiting for salvation
Yes let me leave this life
I don't want to be remembered
I want to leave
Forget me my tent
You were my friend all this time
You who I told all my secrets
You who trust the most
How many nights we stayed together
I remember no more
I can't stand my life
I can't stand people anymore
You are my lone friend
Please keep my secrets
Don't cry my tent
It's not your fault
It's this world fault
It's my fault
My fault that I was born in this time and place
I'm sorry to make you sad
Please my tent please forget me
There are others like me
Others will come
And you will hear their stories
And they will leave again
Our misery will not end
I'm sorry for this
I know this is not fair
I'll leave and you will stay
But one day you will leave too
So we can meet again
My dear tent
Text i fotografia