This is my life story. Why I came out from Yemen when the civil war started.
I was leading a normal life. I was living in Yemen in the town called Sanaa. I was studying and working when the civil war started. I tried to stay there even though the civil war started. There was fighting and bombing and the Houthi fighters and the army fighters were there, and it was a hard time but still I tried to stay. Then I couldn’t stay there; me and my family moved away from Sanaa.
I went to a small town with my family. But the university was in Sanaa, not where I went. When I went to the small town the Houthi army was there. I managed to escape but they took my brother. I tried to hide then they got me and took me, and I was one month in jail because they seized the small town.
I was one month in jail, the Houthi army put me in jail for one month. They removed me because my brother got injured when they were bombarding. They let me out so I could see my brother. My brother was in a very bad condition; his legs were broken and everything. I took my brother out of the hospital and we went to the small town where my mother was and after 3 days we left. I went to another town and I got a passport and I left Yemen.
And then I went to Mauritania and from Mauritania I made my way to Europe. We kept walking. Walking with the trafficker and it’s all desert, we took cars and he blackmailed us. Then the trafficker met with another guy and the other guy took over.
This guy made us walk through the mountains. Then he showed us that he had a knife and guns and he asked us for money and mobiles. We gave him everything. Then we walked through the desert and I asked them where we are. They said it’s between Algeria and Niger. And then another trafficker took over and he put us in a truck, a big car where you put animals in. And then they took us to another place and another trafficker took over and we went to a place. During the time we were walking, we were abused, they were like hitting us and treating us badly.
We ended up in Morocco. And then another trafficker took over. And this trafficker just reassured us and said “I’m going to make you pass to Europe”. He took all the money but he wasn’t honest; he didn’t let us pass to Europe. We stopped there in Morocco. Approximately we stayed there for 2 weeks.
And then another trafficker came and one of the people said “don’t worry, we’ll help you leave”. They took us to Spain. When we reached Spain they asked us for money, and we said we don’t have money, they said “tell your parents to send you money”, but our parents are not working, we don’t have any connections.
When we said we don’t have money to give you they said “no problem, you can work with us now”. In this moment I thought: I need to run away. Because they are really bad people, they want us to work for them. They threatened to kill us, that’s why I realised I had to run away.
I went to another town and I stayed homeless out on the road. I was searching for any refugee camp to help me and support me, just in terms of food and to continue living. I lived in that period on the road. It was really cold and I didn’t have my charger to charge my phone to connect with my people. It was a really tough time for me.
And then I met two guys, one from Yemen and one from Syria. They said to me “let’s go to somewhere where there is no war, where there is justice”. And so we went to some area but I don’t know the name of it. And then we decided to go to Britain. A trafficker said “I will take you to England”.
And then they took us to the sea and they said “you have to go”. I said “no, I’m scared, I don’t want to go across the sea”. There was a lot of people there from Iran and Kurdistan. He pointed a gun at me and said, “you have to leave now”. The guys there reassured me, they said, “don’t worry it’s only one hour and then you will be there, you will be safe”. The sea was really bad. I was so scared. But when I saw from a distance that we were close to Britain I was relieved a little bit when I saw the coast guard.
When we got there the guy took us to Coventry, and I stayed there for 3-4 months. I tried to forget everything I went through. I was thinking about my family. I tried to contact them and to see how my brother is doing. Then, when I was sleeping they opened the door and the police came to see me. He was talking to me but I wasn’t able to understand because everything was in English. I was so scared when he found me there, when he opened the door and he saw me.
I’m not a murderer, I’m just a normal guy. I just ran away from what I have experienced in a bad moment. Why are they treating me like this? They told me “come with me”. They told me “you have to go back where you came from”. In that moment I was broken down inside, I was feeling so bad.
And then they put me in a detention centre. They took the phone, they took everything. They gave me another SIM. But I’m not allowed to go out. Where shall I go if I go out? To the street? What shall I do?
I would rather die here than go back to where I came from.
I just want this country to hear us, because I’ve been in lots of danger. When I escaped from the desert and the mountains, I put my life under risk and I don’t want to go back. That’s all I have.