An immigrant apologises to the people of Europe

Forgive me if your seas and waters have been polluted by the bodies of my countrymen.

Forgive me if thousands of my countrymen became food for the wolves in your jungles.

Forgive me if I have altered the face of your city lately.

Forgive me if your country became the embrace in which I found sanctuary.

Forgive me if I am feeling bitter, but my heart is full of empty places, the empty places of my loved ones.

Forgive me if you see a terrorist when you look into my face, your ears resonate with the sound of bombs and kamikaze when you hear my voice, and your pulse accelerates.

Forgive me if thousands of people that we call “immigrants” have appeared and spread fear and panic.

Forgive me if I inadvertently caused chaos in your country. It was the politics of all those countries that took part in the wars in mine.

Forgive me if there were times I shared my pain with you and you felt sorry for me.

Forgive me if my face is melancholy and my eyes are full of tears. Forgive all my ignorance about your customs and traditions.

Forgive me, not because I deserve it, but because you deserve to be at peace.

Forgive me so that I can learn to forgive all those responsible for all the apologies I have had to make.

Forgive me so that I can forgive all those who have unintentionally mocked my feelings, those who have been unable to hear the soft voice of the immigrant child in all the noise and racket of the city.

Forgive me so that you can be a teacher of forgiveness and I can be your star pupil in the class.

This article was originally published in the fourth issue of ‘Migratory Birds’. The fourth issue of ‘Migratory Birds’ was produced by the Network for Children’s Rights, and supported by UNICEF with funding by the European Commission — Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations, and the Foreign Federal Office of Germany. This edition was further funded by the Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung– Office in Greece, and published in Greece’s Efsyn newspaper on October 27, 2017.

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Please contact the teenage teams of the newspaper “Migratory Birds” and the web radio “Dandelion” of the Network for Children’s Rights by sending an email to or by calling 00 30 210 88 46 590.