UAE: Zayed Award winner helped this refugee who fled her war-torn state to turn into a nurse

Monday, February 6, 2023

by Ashwani Kumar

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Within the late Nineteen Eighties, Zeinab Ahmed Dolal fled her war-torn African state of Somalia to Italy, the place she discovered the Italian language, acquired a free training, grew to be a nurse and now provides again to the group.

She is likely one of the tens of 1000s of refugees who’ve located a reliable life in Italy attributable to the Rome-based group of Sant’Egidio – 2023 winner of the Zayed Award for anthropological Fraternity. The award honors people who try to construct a greater peaceable and compassionate world by advertising the values ​​of human brotherhood and setting an inspiring instance of advertising peaceable coexistence.

Zeinab, who got here to Abu Dhabi to witness the award ceremony, advised Khaleej Occasions how Somalis risked the whole lot to flee the conflict. Greater than 30 years of battle have led to considerable displacement of humans all over. Zeinab was additionally separated from her spouse and children.

“During the war, everyone was forced to leave. The conflict began in 1987, but the world took notice when unrest began in Mogadishu, the capital, in 1992. During the crisis, I was separated from my family. I think some of them are still in refugee camps.”

In response to the conjoined Nations generous Commissioner for Refugees, there are presently greater than 836,300 Somali refugees and asylum seekers worldwide, greater than 33,600 refugees and asylum seekers within the state, and virtually 3 million internally displaced individuals in Somalia.

Thankfully, Zeinab met some Italian expats who had been working in Somalia and had been making an attempt to go house, and she or he went with them.

“I trusted them. In 1998 I managed to escape to Italy with them. But I was only 19 at the time and alone. I was in Italy as a refugee. I didn’t know anyone else except the Italians I came there with,” she reported whilst grew to be emotional as she recalled Somalia’s days of chaos and conflict.

Zeinab commenced working as a Maiden for an Italian spouse and children. She wished to combine into society by discovering the Italian language. And the spouse and children launched her to the Aggregation of Sant’Egidio – a humanitarian organization.

“The language is an important tool for integration into society, and I was eager to learn the Italian language. At the time, the Sant’Egidio community was the only association that gave free Italian language courses to refugees. They used to teach Italian on Sundays when the refugees and the migrants didn’t have to work. They did this for free.”

Later, the Aggregation of Sant’Egidio helped Zeinab obtain admission to a public college. She accomplished her education after which studied nursing at a collage using night lessons whilst working within the morning hours.

“I have spent 35 years in Italy. The Community of Sant’Egidio has been important to me. Thanks to them, I was able to learn Italian, study, become a nurse and serve others. They gave me a chance to start a life there. It’s not just for me, but many people like me who are refugees,” said the 55-year-old.

The Community of Sant’Egidio helps refugees and supports their integration into host communities through their “Humanitarian Corridors” initiative, which extends support to the poorest communities around the world. The association has changed the lives of thousands of refugees like Zeinab.

When asked why she chose to invest in nursing, Zeinab emphasized that she always wanted to serve others.

“I work in a hospital now. And this is a universal job. I can also serve people in other countries.”

She joins the Community of Sant’Egidio’s program to provide health care services in African countries and especially their HIV/AIDS prevention initiative.

“They (the community of Sant’Egidio) helped me when I was in need. And now I help others. Instead of going on holidays or vacations, I use my time off and free time to serve those with HIV/AIDS in African countries.”

She aims to stay involved in the Sant’Egidio community and do humanitarian work.

“I am now an Italian citizen. I want to continue with this kind of life. It is only by helping others that we can have a better world, there is no other way. I, as a Muslim, cannot find any other way to live, apart from helping the poor and needy,” Zeinab added.

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