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I am in Cairo right now and it’s 12:00 am here. 2012 had been one of the most turbulent years of my life. I was kidnapped by human traffickers and ended up in Cairo. Indicated in the image below is a flat in a high-rise building where I was ‘stored’ (as the traffickers call it) for higher bidder traffickers to come and ‘buy’ me. I was held hostage in the flat with three of my friends. Yet, our survival instincts made sure that the traffickers fail in their plot. My friends and I managed to engineer a narrow escape after four days in the flat without food and water.

No one can imagine how much more unhappy I am right now, just drifting towards the darkness of the unknown future. Indeed, nothing happened by itself, but I am not prepared to recall the tragic events that led to the feeling of sadness. Right now, I am sitting on the floor with no bed nor a mattress to sleep on. I am in an empty room with no furniture at all but two blankets for two of my friends and myself. I am walking from one corner of the room to the other as I write this reflection on a piece of paper. And my friends are sitting on the floor thinking about what tomorrow will bring to us. They seem to be consumed by grief.

Right now, I am sitting on the floor with no bed nor a mattress to sleep on. I am in an empty room with no furniture at all but two blankets for two of my friends and myself. I am walking from one corner of the room to the other as I write this reflection on a piece of paper.

If there is one thing I learnt from the last year, it is the human capacity for resilience. I have no doubt that this will pass too. I am not saying that life will be less easy or more forgiving; instead, I am saying that I will be strong and ready for the challenges ahead. Giving up is not in my nature, I will fight the challenges. My deepest fears, painful wounds and unhealed scars will never change my desire to succeed.

I will stop writing in a minute and sit with my friends on the floor. I will encourage them to forget the bad things that happened to us and think about our next plans. We are planning to register with the UNHCR in Cairo and have to submit a completed registration form. Luckily, I can fill out our registration forms myself. It seems many people struggle to complete the registration forms because of language barriers.

Happy New Year.

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