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Artichoke: Be more

By Melissa Hekkers

A young Somali asylum seeker from Mogadishu was found dead in a Larnaca flat on Tuesday morning, an incident which was confirmed by the police as a suicide.

Reportedly his request for asylum had been ignored for a long time before being rejected last year, and he had since been mentally declining. There is nothing worse than being left in the dark, alone, with no hope and no means of moving forward.

Eighteen-year-old Mohamed Dahir fled the crisis in Somalia, plagued by terrorists and an ongoing war.

Wanting to reunite with his family in the UK after applying for asylum locally, it is now his family members who are having to make arrangements to come to the island to oversee his funeral. Because they can – and that’s a tragedy on its own. His family are free to come and go, while he was stranded with no money, no job, no human assistance and no blood relations.

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The young man was living in Larnaca and had applied for asylum so he could join his kin in the UK. Perhaps they are some of the only people who understood his hopelessness and eventual lack of expectation for his future.

The stories about refugees complaining about the slow process of reintegration, denial of their basic rights and the authorities’ refusal to give them adequate support once on the island are never-ending.

Irrespective of the administrative and political difficulties of addressing these ‘cases’, and the global crisis and situation as a whole, Mohamed’s death highlights once again the need to take a more humane approach.

It tells us that a correct path towards integration is crucial and that these youth cannot and should not deal with their fate alone. We have to stand by them. It seems so unjust and certainly not enough for his name and fate to make the news headlines, merely to identify a current reality…

We need to do more. Say more. Act more. Understand more. Be more.

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