10 questions with: Nafeesah Bibi (26), Ali Agha (27), wife and husband
From: Kandahar, Afghanistan
At City Plaza since: 09/16
- What does City Plaza mean to you?
City Plaza is home. It’s a safe place where everyone speaks to each other with respect. I love City Plaza.
City Plaza is the sun. It gives light to refugees from different countries. It is a home of hope.
- 3 words to describe the experience of living with 400 others at City Plaza:
Hope, friendship, home
Love, faith, solidarity
- For you what is the main difference between the camps and City Plaza?
The difference is that in camps we are treated as refugees, as if we all came from jungles not countries. From the first day that I arrived at City Plaza I have been treated as a human being. I said ‘I’m a Ahmed Agha, a refugee from Afghanistan’ and Olga (member of the communication team at City Plaza) told me ‘No, you are human, like everyone else’. She gave me hope. I felt that I am really something, at the camps I had felt that I was nothing.
- Where is your favourite place to be at City Plaza?
The kitchen. In the kitchen I’m working as volunteer, I help the chef. In the kitchen I feel happy. I’m not only washing dishes or preparing food, I’m helping 400 refugees, for this reason I have a huge feeling of happiness in this place.
My room. Sometimes I want to be alone and be in privacy. I feel relaxed in my room.
- What are your hopes for your future?
When I live in another European country I want to open my own beauty parlour (Nafeesah worked in a beauty parlour in Quetta in Pakistan for 6 months).
I want us to have our own home. Home, sweet home!
I don’t have dreams, I have aims: to be healthy and to have an education.
My want for the future is for everyone to join together to save humanity.
- What will you miss about City Plaza?
I will miss everyone. My home, my family, my friends my kitchen here. I will miss everyone.
- How do you participate in the self-organisation of City Plaza?
I participate in all the shifts here, working in the kitchen, cleaning the building. I also work with volunteers to help with the children’s activities.
- Have you learnt any words here in the languages of refugees from other countries?
In Kurdish I can say how are you/I’m fine, and you?. In Arabic I can say the same and of course I know the word that everyone knows here, habibi (my love).
- What is your best memory so far at City Plaza?
The first day of Eid. When I woke up I was a little upset because I wasn’t with my family. But when I went downstairs and everyone greeted me with happiness and love, I realised that I would be spending this special day with my City Plaza family.
I can’t choose just one. Everyday is a special day here. Everyday we eat together, we talk together, we work together. All the parties and meetings make me feel that we’re all family.
- City Plaza is not supported by NGOs and is supported entirely by donations from around the world . What does solidarity mean to you?
Actually, I have a message to everyone who will read this: Imagine if you can that you are a refugee, that you have had to flee your country, that your family has been forced to separate, that your biggest want in the world is to have a home and to be safe. Please join us in solidarity. I believe that if everyone stands together in solidarity, refugees included, that we can save humanity, create hope and together build a brighter future.
Humanity. Humanity. Humanity.
Detail of the day:
When I saw my husband this morning it felt like the most beautiful moment in all my life. I love my husband, so much.
To support City Plaza: http://www.youcaring.com/keepcityplazaopen