Being a refugee was inconceivable to me. It was just another vocabulary in the dictionary whose meaning never mattered to me. All my life, I never thought I would ever be referred as a refugee by anyone; leave alone in my own country. Refugee means one who is not in his own country of birth or who has no legal citizenship of the country where one lives. Refugees are mainly as a result of war and hunger. For my case, it was as a result of famine, hunger crisis and conflict in my home country Somalia.
The war was between the transitional government and rebels. Most of my families were lost with nowhere to call home. It all began one night when we woke up in the morning to find our houses being shattered by bulldozers and ruthless foreigners all over the place this was due to being supporters of the transitional government. The pain and anger was seething inside me. I had nothing to do but to watch families being torn apart. My eyes soaked in hot tears, and anger, burning all over my body as I wished I had power to save our nation.
The demolition of our home was the beginning of a long stay in the refugee camp. With no other option, my family, together with our friends, were hosted in a refugee camp to shield us from the war that remained persistent. Life in the refugee camp was far from alright. We had to struggle though each day with the hardly enough resources. This included the inadequate of food. We had to learn to adjust such that we had to be content with the minimal help that we received while at the camp.
As young people, it was difficult to experience first hand suffering while at the refugee camp. My parents were extremely depressed due to the lack of the capability to offer us better lives. Our education was no longer a priority. At the refugee camp, the most important thing was to ensure that we survived past each day. At the camp, counselors made their rounds to relieve the anxiety that was evident among all refugees. Both the young and the old were subjected to an insecure future. The greatest suffering while at the camp was the hunger crisis and insecurity.
After staying in the refugee camp for a period of six months, the United Nations representative came to our rescue. They informed us that we would be moving to the United States of America. We were filled with joy since we knew that we would have a brighter future. In the USA, life was way better than back home in Somalia. At least we resumed our education. However, there was still something missing. We were not yet recognized as citizens of the United States of America. Some of the students in school would ridicule us, and refer to as aliens.
This did not last long. After a period of two years in the USA, we were informed that our petition for citizenship had been approved. It was overwheliming. We looked forward to this sumptuous occasion. It was one of the happiest days in our lives. With this recognition, we would be able to pursue our dreams without any fear. It also meant that we would now have a sense of belonging. On that particular day, my parents, and our fellow refugees, matched to the immigration office and we were confirmed to be citizens of the USA. Ever since that day, we have en able to pursue our dreams without fear. I look forward to leading a peace mission to my birth country, Somalia, in a bid to restore peace and calm.