“My name is Nabil. I arrived in Greece [in 2016], from Lebanon. I had a very difficult journey. My first stop was on the island of Chios, and then I came to Athens by boat.
I stayed in an Athens hotel for one year before moving to OCAVRR, the open accommodation center for people registered for voluntary returns.
All personnel have been very helpful and kind. I have my own room and the food is delicious.
I decided to leave my country for personal and political reasons. I was not feeling safe. Now, things are different. The political situation in my country has changed and stabilized. There is no war and I can tell you from the bottom of my heart that I love my country. I was aware of IOM from the internet and I applied for voluntary return assistance (AVRR).
Before I left my home, I worked as an assistant manager in a restaurant in Beirut for 10 years. I love cooking and everything related to food, even though I am not a chef. Lebanon is famous for its local food and my dream is to open my small personal food business; but not a fancy restaurant and definitely not something expensive. I want to open a fast food restaurant or a drive-through for local cuisine. Food is an inextricable part of our culture and I really believe I can be very creative in the culinary field. My favorite food is called warak arich; grape leaves stuffed with meat.
Food means more than pleasure to me. It is something that brings people together and I think this is the reason why I love working in the food industry; this is the reason why I want to go back to my country and restart my life.”
The Open Centre for migrants registered for assisted voluntary return and reintegration (OCAVRR) is co funded by the European Return Fund and the Hellenic Ministry for Migration Policy.