Everyone struggles...

by - 21:42

On my way to the library I caught a cab and was ready to have those long conversations. I am already used to it because taxi drivers do it that all the time. I think their jobs are really boring and they feel lonely and need somebody to talk to. He asked me which course I was doing and which modules I am studying, I told him and then he told me that he studied in Leeds Met as well. He majored in Accounting and finance. I wasn’t surprise because it’s not the first time I meet a taxi driver who has a degree.

Something about him made me interested about his story so I started making a lot questions. Overall, he is from Eritrea, which is located in east Africa and the capital is Asmara. He has been here for a long time and after he graduated he looked for a job for several years and couldn’t find anything suitable for him or related on the subject of accounting and finance. He gave up looking and started working as a taxi driver, which is the most appropriate job for international/ immigrant people living in the UK. I don’t share that belief but that's what has been happening for years.

He confided in me that a lot of times he went to an interview and felt different. He was receiving a strange treatment and guaranteed me that he was not being analyzed by his merits or academic qualifications. So, why he did come to a country where he is being mistreated or treated differently?

He did an Economics major in his country and had a good position in the government. When he told me that, I couldn’t find any possible reason for him to leave Eriterea. Once again, I guess what you believe in doesn’t matter if a higher authority doesn’t believe in the same thing. His country has massive political problems and only one political force that controls the whole country. He had an opposite opinion from the ones in power.

I decided to look for information about his country situation. There is only one political party that makes decisions and the others ones don’t have the right to argue. It hasn’t been any elections since 1993, which was the year of their independence (kind of ironic). They finally accomplished a sort of freedom but at the same time, they have invisible handcuffs.

In 2004, the US department declared Eritrea as CPC (Country for Particular Concern). In a brief, Eritrea citizens have no rights to express what they believe in and live in critical conditions.

I can mention a lot of issues that came to my mind when I was having that conversation. First, how foreign people are welcomed in some countries, they run from their country to have a better life and they encounter a life full of prejudice.

Then, the appropriate jobs problem. In my country, the majority of people don’t have academic qualifications and a good education, so if you study hard and manage to have a good degree I could say that you can have a job easily. On the other hand, there are countries who have a lot of people with decent qualifications but they have not enough jobs to offer.

What I have learned in this life is that every single human is struggling in their way, and for me it may seem that my problem is bigger or more deteriorative than yours, but I have no idea and I can’t judge because every pain is felt in different ways and every person has different insecurities living amongst them in different places.

Another issue arising is the freedom of speech. I feel lucky that in one way I am free to say what I have to say, for example posting in this blog, living in the UK brought me a lot of knowledge and curiosity regarding problems around me. It encourages me to talk about anything I have an opinion about. I am not saying that I couldn’t do that in my country, I can because they don’t have any media/ freedom of speech policy but what I am trying to say is that the culture here is more lean to public opinions. There are some countries, for example, China, that everything you say is controlled and they have their own media tools, own Facebook and things like that.

People have all sort of problems around the world, just be grateful for what you have.

Lunga Izata

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