The Other

I am glad to share my experience through a newspaper that builds bridges between different cultures and shares ideas, opinions and experiences of people from warring countries with citizens of Slovenia.

I am a young guy from Syria currently living in Ljubljana. I came here to search for a peaceful life as my country is at war.
I am happy and thankful to be granted the permission to stay here.

Most of the time I find my life in Slovenia is bearable, but there are some events where I can feel that I am ‘the Other’.

I want to talk about a recent event where I personally encountered security guards and police seeing me as a threat.

After school I went to Zara to buy perfumes with my friend.
We paid and we wanted to leave but the security guard intercepted us and said ‘I want to inspect your bag’.

I was surprised but still willing to cooperate, but then he said ‘not here, go to the basement and don’t talk!’

I was uncomfortable with the situation but still obeyed his orders. I asked him ‘what is the matter?’ but he swore at me. I said ‘why are you swearing?’ My question made him even more angry and he swore at me again, so I swore back because he made me upset.

He called the police and when the police came, they searched me and later gave me a 200eur fine. I objected and asked ‘what is this fine for?’ The police man said ‘it is forbidden to swear the security guard’ I told them that he started swearing me first, but he said ‘even if he hits you, you can not swear him!’

Later on I paid the fine, but as I felt that an injustice happened to me, I wanted to appeal against the police man and the security guard, to sue them for their prosecution. But people said to me ‘you don’t understand – the law doesn’t work equally for everybody’.

It is the truth that there are good and bad people all over the world and I am aware that not all people who come are contributing to the society because of different reasons. But by sharing my story I want to emphasize that you should not generalize your assumptions that all refugees are bad.