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Photo credit: The Irish Times.

6,281 kmfrom home
“He told me, ‘Give me your passport, I’ll come back in a minute’. He never came back. That was my first night in Dublin."
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Abdul was 17 on the rainy night he arrived in Ireland. That night three years ago he spent more than 12 hours alone, waiting for the man who had brought him from Pakistan with promises of a better life in Europe.

“I spent that whole night wandering around Dublin,” he says. “I had no idea what to do. I kept walking back to the same place where he’d told me to stay. But he never came back.”

Earlier that day, he had travelled from his home in the city of Peshawar in northwest Pakistan with a contact who had offered to help him seek asylum abroad.

They took a bus from the airport in to Dublin city centre where the man bought him some new clothes and handed him money.

“He told me, ‘Give me your passport, I’ll come back in a minute’. It was the end of July but it was cold. It rained all night. I can remember the water coming down over O’Connell Street. I was very scared. I cried through the night.”

Eventually, the teenager built up the courage to ask for help. He spoke three languages – Urdu, Pashto and Punjabi – but no English. He could neither read nor write. “I kept changing the language, hoping someone could speak one of them. But I was speaking a foreign language, so people just ignored me.”

Read the rest of Abdul’s story here.

Story by The Irish Times.

Related Sustainable Development Goal(s):


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