We are looking for essay writers who will help promote the awareness of refugee rights in Korea. NANCEN wants to let the voice of refugees heard as they want to be heard in Korea society. We wish Koreans could come to understand that refugees are not to be feared or pitied. If you are interested in this project, please contact to refucenter@gmail.com, Green. 

'Life is not as we thought it could be "


My name is Michael i am 53 years old i am by born Pakistani Christian i have 9 members in my family my wife,my son, my daughter, my daughter in law my elder grand son then my twins grandson and daughter then my younger grandson who was born in 2015 in south Korea, 


This is my Life's story. 

It has all started on 5th December 2002, When my Father was killed by the terrorist. My whole world turned upside down. My family and i was shocked it was terrible moment for me and my family and we still cannot forget had terrible moment of our life. since i was the elder son of my family so all responsibility comes on my shoulder after my fathers death, and since i was the first son of my parents i was really close to my father his death left me heart broken and I did not know what next step of my life will be what should i do how should i start, my family and we all wanted justice for my fathers death but it was not easy to have justice i knew it wont be easy it will be super hard it will be challenging it will be so tough because the people who has killed my father are not just normal people they were terrorist and my any step could be dangerous for me and my family and our life could be in danger but still my family and i we prayed and decided to take this step 

we decided to fight for justice for my fathers death, but as i said it wont be easy for us to fight for justice i went through all the process but nothing worked wherever i went they all told me sorry we cant help you because 1st thing they were terrorist and 2nd of all i was a christian and its not easy as a minority to get justice but i did not give up i kept on trying hard but there was no hope i got very disappointed  this was not end i faced really hard time after went to police then the police even told me it will be more dangerous for me for going to file a report against the terrorist but the terrorist got to know and they started threatening me for not to seek justice they were many times which i cant remember they used to called and threatened me that they know my family how many family members i have all their information where they go what they do they knew everything my every move and step they were kept watching me and then one day suddenly at night time outside of my flat windows someone fired but God has saved  me and my family 

after this in 2012 my son got kidnapped by some unknown people they called me asking me huge amount of money which was impossible for me to arrange they told me if i cannot not give them money they will kill my son so i somehow arranged some money through the help of my friends to give them so i can get my son back it was not as much as they wanted they have beaten up my son so badly and when they left my son in front of my house he was unconscious and we thought he was dead the we took him to the hospital they treated my son after that incident my son did not go out and before my son's incident they tried to throw acid on my daughter but luckily my daughter Got saved with few seconds gap but after that she got so scared and stressed out and my whole family were going through such a terrible time of our life and all we wanted was (PEACE,JUSTICE,RELIGION FREEDOM AND SECURITY OF OUR LIFE ) which was seems quiet impossible then one of my friend in south Korea who is a pastor he heard about my situation so he said to me brother i will help you and your family its not safe for you to stay in Pakistan because things are getting worst for you. You and your family are not safe there so somehow with his help i moved to South Korea with my daughter,my son and my younger brother then after 3 months my wife and my daughter in law and my 3 grandchildren came here then i thank God for Everything that we have arrived here safely 

we thought now we can start our life again but it was a beginning of more worst life then we could have even imagine since we came to South Korea i spend everything whatever savings i had brought from Pakistan i sold out my house everything whatever i had i left everything and came here i thought in south there is justice because of Ban-Ki-Moon as he was the secretary general of UN also i took debt from my friends to live here because when i applied for asylum here i did not know that i wont be able to do any work i wont be able to do anything it will be end my daughter wanted to study she cant study because of this visa problem we are 9 members my wife and i have health issues we cannot work my daughter in law is a house work she take cares of my grand children my daughter and son wants to work but they are not allowed to work we spend 5 years in south Korea and still seeking justice in starting our case went through interview in refugee office and due to misinterpretation everything went wrong a Muslim interpreter who does not know anything he was doing interpretation and asking questions related to Christianity that time i did not know anything in Korean i had the longest interview from morning 9 am till evening 7 i just had a break for 15 minutes during lunch time that time also the interviewer was with me after that when the interview finished he asked me to sign some papers which were in Korean i signed it because i thought that is some legal documents which i have to sign then after some time 

we got to know that they have declined our case that time we did not know the real reason why our case was declined by the refugee immigration office so  we appealed our case and our case went to administrative court from there we got a lawyer by the Korean government but i never talked to him since he was not able to speak or understand English then later after few months i got to know our case has been declined by the administrative court without we even not appeared one single time in court that was a bit shocking situation i did not know what should i do it was like we have no other way but going back to the life of fear and torture from where i escaped i knew one day they could kill me and my family as they have killed my father if we go back to Pakistan so going back was not even an option for me and my family i looked at my family my wife,my kids and my grandchildren they deserve a good life where they can live with religion freedom where they can breath peacefully and have security of their lives so they can study and live their life but unfortunately nothing was going good things where getting worst day by day time was running and things were not changing then on other side if we have to live in South Korea we need fee money to appeal in high court my all family and i cried and prayed a lot it was impossible for us to arrange fee for the high court God has done the miracle by arranging the money and some how our case went to high court but after that this time we have to arrange a lawyer who can fight our case in high court the lawyer fee was impossible for us to pay we did not know how to arrange the lawyer and his fee but some how God helped us it was another miracle for me and my family through someones help we got this lawyer but unfortunately he also could not speak English and after few months again we lost our case in high court 

but we have to fight until we get justice i kept on moving even my health condition could not allow me to do anything but still i have to take care of my family regardless of anything i moved on and took another step towards supreme court i knew it will be our last hope if we lose this time then it will be impossible for us to stay in Korea but the situation was still same i did not had money and again i have to take dept or seeking help from my friends and church this is not easy thing when trials and hardships knocks at your door and you have no strength to fight any longer but then you have big responsibility on your shoulder of your family and also my mother my younger brother and his family everyone was waiting and looking for me to help them to get out of that situation which i faced and it was all going wrong nothing was working for me and for my family i was so mentally disturbed and stressed out because i was having the toughest time of my life where i am fighting for safety fighting to live my life with my family in South Korea but i was not able to get any positive response through the government or ministry of justice i was struggling and fighting to live in South Korea


i was all broken physically,mentally and financially but some how my case went to supreme court and we got helped by few good friends they helped me with the lawyer then our case was going on the the strange thing was we did not know what was happening in supreme court when our case got declined and closed by the supreme court we got to know 3 months later after the finally decision since the 3 months period has already gone we had time for 3 more months to find some legal way to live in Korea mean while my financial condition was totally broken and due to visa problem my kids and no one can do job since we were the big family it was not easy to live in south Korea anyways somehow i met one of my church friend he knows English and Korean he told me what was the reason of declining our case from administrative court high court and supreme court it was all started from the beginning when i had my first interview and in the documents it says i am not even a christian i do not practice my faith life i did not go to church and many wrong things which i never even said i was totally broken because i had nothing left to be lose everything whatever i had i have lost already all i have was only my family which i cant imagine to lose no job no money no visa status went to so many lawyers every lawyer said its impossible for you and your family to live in Korea you must have to go back to Pakistan , leaving my home country was not easy for me i did not only left my country i lefty everything there my house my job whatever i had i left it everything and came to south Korea to protect my family to keep them safe from any kind of harm fear of returning back home was killing me everyday 

i was trying i met so many NGO People so many lawyers but everyone has the same answer they cannot help me many people saw my daughter is single and beautiful they had bad eye on her why not she get married then things can be change there were so many worst things which i cant even describe how terrible feeling this is where there is no one to help you no one to understand your pain but some how my family and i did not give up we said one last try if there is no place,no justice and no security of life for asylum seekers then its better to die here then returning to back home. i some how re-applied our case for asylum and luckily they accepted it but it was not the end it was the start of new trouble more hard time more trials before we used to get visa G-1 which was for asylum seekers but right now we no longer have our alien cards no more visa only they put sticker on our passport for 1 month in every 1 month we have to go twice and the immigration treats us like we are trash 

we are not human being whenever anyone get to know we are asylum seekers they started treating us like we are not human being and it hurt us we also have feelings and emotions still now i am struggling with my visa status, Currently we have no "visa status" but we have "Legal Stay Period" which i get every month for 1 month and after re-applied for our case we again got the call for interview this time they called all my family My wife and I,my son, my daughter,my daughter in law and my elder grand son we all had interviewed but this time they again declined by saying that they can not understand our case we now again appealed so do not want to go back we just want to live in South Korea with Religion Freedom,Justice,Security of our life we want to live like a normal human being like a normal Korean citizen same we can work we can breath peacefully sleep in peace i can not even remember when was the last time i even get a peaceful sleep i hope we get justice a little place in South Korea where i can live and start my new life with my family without fear of returning back to my country and being killed by some terrorist and without fear of visa status, court fees and lawyer fees we just want to live a life as a normal human being maybe to many people it might be a story but the pain we have in my heart and the journey we had till now it was worst then any death imagine dying daily its worst then once i hope and pray no one ever face this kind of situation "life is not as we thought it could be" Our journey of pain is not yet finish do not know how much more we have to suffer but its getting worst i hope one day everything will be solve all my sorrows turn into joy my pain into happiness hope one day we get justice.......


J, 'Window', pencil on paper, 21x29cm.

 ⓒ The Refugee Art Project 

Posted by 난민인권센터