Last Updated: Tuesday, 23 January 2018, 09:04 GMT

Djibouti-Somalia: Amina Ahmed Barre, "Not knowing your future is the hardest part"

Publisher IRIN
Publication Date 22 February 2011
Cite as IRIN, Djibouti-Somalia: Amina Ahmed Barre, "Not knowing your future is the hardest part", 22 February 2011, available at: [accessed 23 January 2018]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

ALI ADDEH, 22 February 2011 (IRIN) - Amina Ahmed Barre, 29, a mother of two, has lived in refugee camps most of her life. She is one of nearly 14,000 Somali refugees in Djibouti. Barre fled Somalia with her parents in 1991 when civil war broke out; she was only eight years old.

Barre's home today is a makeshift shelter at the Ali Addeh refugee camp, 130km south of Djibouti-Ville, the capital. She spoke to IRIN about her experiences and hopes for the future:

"I do not recall much about my life in Somalia because I left there when I was very young. My parents took us away when the fighting started in Mogadishu in 1991.

"I have been in a refugee camp ever since. I got married here to another refugee and have two children. Life here is not easy. It is very hard.

"During the dry season, it is so hot it is impossible to move anywhere [temperatures can reach 45 degrees Celsius]. I am lucky I have a sewing machine and so I work as a seamstress. I sew mostly women's and children's clothes. The work gives me a break from the monotony of life here. As you can see, there is nothing else here; we don't have anything to kill the time.

"Not knowing your future is the hardest part. I didn't choose to be here, I was forced to be here. It is getting harder and harder to have hope that my children and I will leave here. I don't want to die here.

"I never had a chance to go to school or do what other children do. At least now my children go to school but I want them to have normal lives in a normal setting.

"I have just been interviewed [for resettlement]. I am hoping that this time around we will go somewhere where my children can have a normal life. I may even go to school. They say it is never too late.

"I just pray that the disappointment and the suffering will end and my children will have a better future."

Theme (s): Gender Issues, Refugees/IDPs,

[This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]

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