I have survived detention, torture and human trafficking since I left Eritrea for Sudan in 2011. For nearly a decade, I found myself caught in an extra-legal continuum that I aspire to understand. The Eritrean authorities labelled me as a traitor, and everywhere else I was labelled as an illegal migrant, infiltrator or victim. Official documents initially referred to me as an asylum seeker, but later as a refugee. Despite these challenges, I have never surrendered to the difficulties I have been through nor did I rely on my precarious status. In fact, I have used these challenges to improve my status, strengthen my skills, and secure access to possibilities. I am now a ‘naturalised’ UK citizen, becoming a rights-bearing subject for the first time since I was born.

My background also gave me a unique opportunity to set a vision for my personal, professional and career development. Most importantly, my lived, professional and research experience allowed me to bring a unique experience and perspective to the issues facing forced migrants such as refugees, stateless people and people seeking asylum. I am stunned by the various experiences of forced migrants that I have met and worked with during my journey. As an insider, I constantly learn, unlearn, reflect hard and stay grounded. I am committed to understanding the challenges they face and the biopolitical b/ordering that led to their challenges and contributing towards a positive change.

Through my involvement with organisations such as Right to Remain LtdYAS and ISTAC, I have identified opportunities for personal, professional, research and leadership development to underpin my career ambitions and learning journey. I have embarked the journey of effecting change through my work at community and organisational levels.