Anonymized for his protection.
Farhan is from Somalia, where he worked in the fishing industry.
“One of the main reasons I left my country was the civil war. My father decided I should leave Somalia because of how unsafe it was. I heard from friends about registering with UNHCR as a refugee, but the closest offices were in Nairobi and Cairo.”
He decided to go to Cairo, Egypt, and his father arranged the trip. During the flight, he made friends who helped him integrate with the Somali community there. During his thirteen years in Cairo he stayed close to the Somali community, which survives thanks to the support they receive from their families and organizations.
“It was difficult for me to integrate in Egypt. There are good people and bad people everywhere, but unfortunately I only met bad people, and that has made my experience hard.”
Farhan has not been back to Somalia in thirteen years, and says he now has not reason to return as he has no family left there. They have passed away while he has been in Egypt.
He registered with UNHCR upon arrival in 2002, and was rejected for resettlement twice, but he was finally approved to be resettled in the United States on the third try.
“I know that there’s freedom in the United States, and democracy. Everyone can rely on himself. I’m hoping to get a better education and work so I can make up what I missed out on in my past.”