My name is Aziz, I am from Kuwait and have now been in the UK for two years.

The reasons I came to the UK

Despite being the 4th generation and my family living in Kuwait, I am what’s known as a bedouin, which means stateless. I went to high school but, because I was stateless, I couldn’t get any further education. I also had no rights to health care and no prospects of getting a decent job. Even if I got work, it would never be at the same level as a citizen. Just yesterday I saw on Facebook that someone in the same situation as me in Kuwait killed themselves. This happens every day.

The UK gives you freedom, I can study and have an ID. I feel like a real human, whereas in Kuwait I had nothing. Now I have studied English, maths and IT at college, and hope to go on to study maths and physics, perhaps by finding an access course to help me get up to speed.

  

When I first arrived…

I looked down when flying into Heathrow and said to myself, “this is going to be my country for the rest of my life… it’s going to be hard for me”. I was right. When I arrived, I was in the airport looking for the right place to claim asylum. I looked around and saw other people from my country coming as tourists, passing me as they went to get their passports stamped, which gave me a very heavy heart.

From there I went to a hostel. While staying there, I was so worried about getting lost that I was afraid to go too far away from it. I always made sure I could see the hostel, wherever I went. I also found it very hard to find food that I liked.

My accommodation during my asylum claim, a dispersal house, was in a very bad area - I could hear drug dealers and didn’t feel comfortable. I have just been given leave to remain, but it has been very difficult to get a house as you often have to bid for it.

Migrant Help’s input in my time here

After four or five days in the original hostel I was in, the manager came and booked me an appointment with Migrant Help. The hostel in London was fine and I shared with three other people. Later I moved to Birmingham, where I was particularly happy because I met someone from home. Staff were friendly, but it did feel quite strict because I had to sign in and out when I left. I also used the Migrant Help phone lines and they were very helpful.

 

My life now

I feel much better! I have found myself feeling independent. I am studying, paying bills and constantly improving myself. I am happy, even though I am a long way from my family. I am the oldest and have three sisters and two brothers. I am like a father to them and so feel responsible for them.

My hopes for the future

I want to go to university, get a proper job and maybe one day own a business. I have been promised a management role in my current job if things continue going well, but I am in two minds whether to keep working and save or study.

I want to be the voice of my people. I haven’t suffered at all compared to other people - people at home are treated like animals, not humans. I feel I have to do my best to be happy and raise awareness of what is happening to people at home.

Aziz