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, Ku. 

The Story of Aladdin when he has lost his magic lamp!





My name is Aladdin, and that is my real name by the way. Yes, I had a magic lamp before, but it is different from the one you know from the story of Arabian Nights, it was the love and warmness of my family and children, it was a promising career at an international company, it was a membership in Cambridge University. I was happy, even though there is corruption, oppression, brutality, bureaucracy, and nepotism in my homeland, I was trying to avoid all of that to be happy, but all of a sudden, I've lost every single thing my life, I've lost my magic lamp!

My story began when I was born in Egypt where the military and capitalists are ruling and oppressing the poor people of Egypt. So, I had to survive like any man or woman in that country, I've self-studied and read dozens of books about history, politics, literature, and many others, which became later on what's causing the pain in my mind, what's killing me day after day, because they've opened my eyes widely to the truth. I got married eleven years ago, but my marriage has failed because I am a political and humanitarian activist, I have three lovely children whom I might not see them again!


After the 25th of January revolution which was a protest against the policemen brutality, the police forces have killed a lot of young men and women, so, after 18 days of the revolution Hosni Mubarak (the previous Egyptian president and one of the military generals) stepped down on the 11th of February 2011, and there were celebrations everywhere in Egypt.

We thought that our revolution succeeds but it did not! Because the military is still ruling Egypt and the military generals promised the opposition political parties that, they would make a democratic election. Nevertheless, the military has killed dozens of the protesters against it during many demonstrations. Meanwhile, some of the opposition parties were watching silently as the military promised them to make the so-called democratic election.


Finally, a civilian president won the election who belongs to one of the opposition parties, even though, some of us disagree with his agenda, but at least, he is not from the military, we wished that he could get rid of the corruption and the military ruling, but he could not do it.


Morsi (the previous Egyptian president) trusted the so-called Egyptian military that later on, overthrew him on July 3, 2013. Not only that but the military has killed thousands of people (Children, women, and men) who are against the military coup, and some of them do not support Morsi from the very beginning and I am one of those people who is not a member of any political party in Egypt.


I am a young man who supports freedom, democracy, justice, and human rights everywhere. It does not matter to me what is your race, belief, or sexual preference, we are one family, we are human beings, and that is what I do believe in, I believe in humanity and freedom. Hence, The Egyptian authorities imprisoned me for 5 months without charges as I was an eyes witness on the crime against the humanity not only that but also I protested against them.


When I was the prison, I couldn't see my family except for three or four times, I've seen my children and my beloved mother which was killing me day after day, besides they were torturing me and placed me in an inhumane cell. Luckily, I was released in five months, but my case was still running. Therefore, I decided to start over though I got divorced and I has been fired from my previous job.


Honestly, It wasn't easy at all, but I had to survive, I've self-studied and read a lot of books to improve my professional skills, lucky me, I got hired at many international companies such as OSN and Vodafone Ireland. I was promoted at Vodafone Ireland and my salary was increased, and I was happy, but this happiness did not stand for a long time as my case was still running and I was paranoid about it.


One day, I was sitting with my friends and I received a call, which has changed my life up and down, informing that I have been sentenced to fifteen years in prison, and extra five years' probation, because I was protesting against the massacre which had been done by the so-called Egyptian military.


                                                                                      ⓒ the refugee art project

I released that I've lost my magic lamp (Love and hope) forever at this moment, my lawyer told me that I couldn't be in Egypt whatsoever, and I had to flee in a week! Because I could not travel through the airport like any human beings, I had to flee in an illegal way, which might be the reason to be a dead man. However, I had to do it one way or another, as being in prison at least for fifteen years due to an unfair sentence is the death to any human being, and I am a human being.


Now, I'm living in the country of Korea and seeking asylum as I can't go back to my homeland after what has happened, I cannot see my beloved mother and children again that's why I've lost everything, I've lost my magic lamp.


No one has chosen to be a refugee!

No one has chosen to be a foreigner, Oh! Dear God, I hate this word.

No one has chosen his/her homeland!

No one has chosen his/her race!


Yes, I'm safe but I've lost everything I've ever known, but I'm still crying because it's where I'm from, the pain is killing me every single moment. I am alone! Not only that but also I'm suffering from discrimination and xenophobia from immigration authorities and the media who want to spread fear and hatred between the good people of Korea and refugees, but I believe that the good people of Korea won't allow them to do that, because I've known them as kind and nice people.


I am not speaking only about my case, I am speaking in behave of all refugee here in the country of Korea, I have known many of them, it is not easy to survive and start over again from the very beginning.

However, I hope that everything is going to be better. I hope all refugees will get the rights as any human being who dreams of the peaceful and happy life; I hope every refugee will find his magic lamp. That is not only my story that is a story of every refugee who is suffering to survive!


* Korean version: http://nancen.org/1844

Posted by 난민인권센터