Sometimes amongst the clouds comes a ray of sunshine.
Awad has always been that for me, and many others too.
We met in the Calais Jungle over a year ago.
I knew he was special from the moment we met. Highly intelligent, well-spoken and personable, he stood out. I could always spot him from a mile off because of his height and his hair, (and his sick fashion sense!)
Awad and I have had a lot of deep conversations over the last year…about his circumstances and mine. About his life in the camp, his options and his future. We’ve talked about religion, about love and relationships, about life.
Awad had one of the best houses in the Jungle. He spent a lot of time and thought building it. He had glass in the windows and murals on the walls inside.
It was beautiful…until it was bulldozed.
Awad always remained dignified and strong, despite the obvious inequality and injustice staring us in the face.
Not only this, throughout my time knowing him, Awad not only brought happiness and sunshine to me, but to many others too.
Awad is a refugee who helps other refugees.
He would regularly go to the warehouse, organise donations, let volunteers know what was needed and facilitate these things getting to people in the new camp he lived in after the Jungle was demolished.
He represented and supported many.
Everyone called his ‘Rasta’ and faces literally lit up when they saw him. He naturally and organically commands respect from everyone he meets, and everywhere I have ever been with him, whoever I introduced him too, he instantly made them smile.
This weekend I got the amazing news that Awad has made it safely to the UK.
I could not be happier.
My friend, my brother and my inspiration…
Welcome to England and to the next chapter of your crazy life.
You deserve this.