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Today is Wednesday. I am in Essen by now. I am about to meet the songstress here. She has travelled from Stuttgart in order to accompany me to the Calais Camp. My nephew and his work colleague, who put me up for the night, have gone to work or Uni. So I decide to go for a little walk. When I come across an internet café I decide to continue my research about the Camp. So that I have more ways to engage with the people in Calais tomorrow. In the third video I come across on youtube, a little girl guides the UNICEF camera team around the Domez Camp in Kurdistan. Her name is Niroz.

Niroz is ten years old. She had to flee from Hassaka, Syria, together with her parents. Niroz is wearing a small, beige-coloured woolly cardigan. She looks a little bit like my grandmother in that. She even talks  a bit like my grandmother. But she is a lot wiser than my grandmother.

“I wish we had died in Hassaka. This is not a good place for children.”

Niroz sometimes laughs, beneath her lovely hair. And when she laughs, the earth bows before her with humility. Because Niroz can laugh and joke even though she has to live in a North Iraki Camp for refugees. The wind keeps blowing her brown-blonde shoulder-length hair into her face. It doesn’t stop her from explaining her situation to the people from UNICEF. Niroz looks like a character from a Disney movie. But what sort of Disney character lives in a Camp in the middle of a desert?

“In Europe, animals have more rights than we have here.”

Niroz has one problem. She hasn’t been to school for ten days. She wants to go to school again, nothing more. Niroz wants to be a heart surgeon. It is mind-blowing – she is talking about mending hearts in the future despite the fact that she could probably do with someone badly herself right now to put their hand on her small heart to comfort her.  Why does a ten year old child have to beg for an education? Why is education not granted without prejudice for all humans on earth?

When I was ten years old, I thought my biggest problem was my red BMX bike for which I had to save up 109 Deutschmark. I am embarrassed about it now. I was sad because I didn’t have the money. Niroz is not sad. She keeps on smiling into the camera, and says that without education, nothing is possible. Not even the Camp in which she has to live.

“If I grow up and can’t study, that will be the end of my dream.”

I look into her eyes on screen once more and then lower my head to reflect. When I go to sleep later I will say a prayer. I will ask God for a miracle. The miracle shall be that Niroz has by now made it to the Camp in Calais. If I find her there, I promise to help by taking her to Germany. I don’t care how. And then she will become a heart surgeon. I am sure of it.


Click here for Day 1: Into Calais Jungle
Click here for Day 3:  True Friends and Freeloader


Photo: UNICEF | Translation by Ulrike Muller 

Written by Hammed Khamis

Hammed Khamis wuchs in einer westdeutschen Gastarbeitersiedlung auf. Der Streetworker und Journalist ("Ansichten eines Banditen") setzt sich besonders für die Integration Jugendlicher mit Migrationshintergrund ein.

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