Our land is no land,
A land of bullet and gun.
Our land is scarred and ruined,
A land from which we had to run.
Our land is just history,
A land of a corrupt brutal regime.
Our land is just a wave of memories,
A land we remember unbroken in dreams.
Our land is names written on a map,
A land of violence, threat and oppression.
Our land is scattered homes and wasted lives,
A land of false imprisonment and forced confessions.
Our land was once our home,
A land of smiles and hospitality.
Our land was refuge, now departing refugee,
A land of constant fear, intimidation and hostility.
Our land was once our future,
A land of freedom, hope and opportunity.
Our land succumbed to powerlust and greed,
A land of bombed cities and shells that shattered society.
Your land is where we turned,
A land of safety, security, protection.
Your land is our only desperate hope to survive
A land where we head, exhausted, frightened, traumatised
Because our land is destroyed, your land is our direction.
No one chooses to become a refugee unless they have been forced from home and family and all they have ever known. When their land has been brought to ruin by despotic brutal regimes with flagrant disregard for human rights, where people face persecution and live in constant fear.
No wonder people feel the only thing they can do is undertake uncertain perilous journeys from their land, across foreign lands and seas to find safety in our lands.
I am coming to the end of 6 months teaching a group of refugees English. None of whom wanted to make the journey to the UK. All of whom fled persecution, leaving families, homes, businesses behind. That is how desperate refugees are.