Let’s try to see! World Refugee Day, 20 June
In light of World Refugee Day, Group 484 launched a campaign called Let’s Try to See to draw attention to the positive aspects of the arrival of foreigners in our country, to the human potential of each individual, regardless of the country of origin.
“With encouraging messages on billboards in Belgrade, Loznica, and Vranje, we want to show the importance of human relations and intimacy with people who come from distant lands, who need support in the form of a good friend, neighbour, colleague. Equally, if we allow them to do so, we deeply believe that they can be great friends, neighbours, and colleagues,” emphasised representatives of Group 484.
As part of the EU project “Guidelines for Migrants – A Guide through the Labyrinth”, we regularly share the stories of people who live, work, and educate children in Serbia on social networks, and who came from some distant countries.
Iva and Akram, Serbia and Syria
Akram is from Syria, he is 34 years old and has lived in Serbia for 17 years.
“The challenges are much greater when you are a foreigner and live in a foreign country. When I came, I didn’t know the language and I had a hard time communicating with people, and good friends were always that great support in the many problems I was facing. It’s always good to have someone who will understand you and share the pain with you.”
Iva is Akram’s friend, she is 30 and is from Serbia.
“I’ve learned the recipe for hummus and falafel. I’ve learned that food is enjoyed in Syria as much as in Serbia. I’ve learned that pomegranate goes perfectly in salads. I’ve learned that a smile costs nothing and that it’s nice to give it to a friend and a stranger. I’ve learned when we give – a smile to a stranger, who is afraid and is in our country for the first time, it is perhaps the first smile that the person meets on the road. I’ve learned that even in the most difficult moments, when life does not spare us, the only thing we can still do is be human. Kindness, patience, support, and listening to others open the door to true friendship.”
Serbia is on a route that thousands of refugees pass through every year. Only some of these people seek refugee status in Serbia. Since 2008, such or similar status has been granted to 198 persons. Some important things have been done in the last few years, but much remains to be done to improve a system that will allow all refugees who find refuge in Serbia to build their lives here and enjoy all the rights that belong to them.
A lot depends on each of us. We invite you to join us in creating a society that will not persecute those who are different, that will not nurture fear of foreigners, and in which all those who ask for help and all who want to contribute will be very much appreciated and welcome … Colleague. Neighbour. Friend.