Don’t go Europe to “surrender”

All our relatives were so happy for us that we have managed to reach Austria. We sold our house, furniture and all the stuff in a month that my husband’s parents have had gained with such difficulty during these years. We were so excited to go to blissful Europe and we did our best to reach Austria as soon as possible. My husband is a painter and we could hardly make both ends meet in Armenia. We have heard from our relatives that talented people are well paid in Europe and my husband didn’t doubt of having open up new horizons for him in Europe.

I was studying myself in the 2nd grade of University and was hoping for becoming a good expert of my profession after the graduation. The people who told about opportunities in Austria had foreseen well paid job for me as well.

We were so happy to leave Armenia where we only met troubles and difficulties.

We paid for visa and after 15 days the tickets were bought. We got so excited that prepared in a hurry. We left for Austria promising our relatives to invite them too as soon as we manage. The flight was safe – Vienne was awesome. In the morning we saw it clean and beautiful. The stewardess of the Austrian airlines was smiling and wishing wonderful time for all of us.

In Vienne our relatives met us whom we were staying with our friends met us in Vienne and we stayed a week at their place. They made a sightseeing tour of Vienne for us, after which we were even more assured of our good decision to leave Armenia. A week later our relative told us to approach a random policeman in the street and claim that we are refugees and have no idea where to go. We did as instructed and been sent to Quinton (Camp)

There we learnt that everybody is being returned to their homelands. As we have told them to be refugees and asylum is needed the investigation was conducted immediately based on security measures. We handed all our belongings; I was feeling like a criminal, so poor and humiliated. The confusion of being in such situation was so much that I regretted the very moment for the things done. I wanted to turn around and just go away. After the interview the room and hygienic supplies were provided were we just set in silence and didn’t find a word to utter. At least my husband broke the silence and tried to give some hope. “Soon will be fine just hold on”. Next day we met a lot of people from other nations and religions including our Armenian nationals. The conversation with them revealed that this process will last longer and the “soon” will take a much more to arrive. About two years it took to wait. It took us two years to wait. We see Austria and went through the local laws and regulations and all we’ve been told that it’s not our country and we never can be part of it. Although we were well threatened for not having any issues however all the courts one after another had denied our applications.  The time for decision making had arrived to go on from one court to another or return to Armenia. Meanwhile it was clear that the time will be wasted and the answers will be the same. What we have to do is just get back.

The return was very painful (difficult). Everything was the same on the way back home but not us. The longing was awful and the feeling of being backed home defeated was even worse. The defeat coasted two years of (waste of) our lives, the lost house, chance to study and means of living.

Our family met us with warmth and open handed in Armenia where we took advantage of Armenian Caritas “Migration and Development” program. We bought cows, found means of living and currently think to expand our cattle business.

Although here we have a lot of difficulties as well however we have a son born in Armenia and the need to rebuild a house is on our priority list. On other hand longing to family and uncertainty is not oppressing us anymore.

Now I’d like to turn to our Armenian fellows who think to take their happy journey to Europe to “surrender”.

Don’t go to Europe “surrender”. Europe never was and never will be blissful for “surrenders”.

 M. E

Armenian citizens returned from EU

Beneficiary of Armenian Caritas “Migration and Development” program.