We can never go back to Eritrea

October 24, 2017
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We can never go back to Eritrea

“In Eritrea the president is a dictator. My husband was in the military. All men and women had to enter the military. I got married in 2005 on January 5. My husband immediately left with the military. I saw him a year later. He had one month of leave. Instead of going back, he escaped and went to Sudan. I was still in Eritrea. The government controls everything. He didn’t want them controlling his life. He went from Sudan to Libya for two years and then the island of Malta for three years. He worked and sent me money. The government looked for him and we told them we didn’t know where he was, so they took his mother. They eventually brought her back. I moved in with my family. When he was in Malta, he got refugee status to come to America. We didn’t see each other for seven years, from 2006 to 2014. I loved him and wanted to wait for him but my family asked me why I was waiting so long. We can never go back to Eritrea. My sister and her husband are in Sudan. I am trying to get my mother here. If we had stayed, I only would have seen my husband once a year for the rest of our lives. That would have been our life. There is no war but they still force men into the military If someone goes to college, they have to go to the army for two years. The businesses are owned by the government. After college, you work for the government. Everyone lives the same, even if you are a doctor or engineer. It is like Cuba. In the United States, you draw your life. You choose your life. Over there it is chosen for you. There is more freedom in the United States than I thought it would be. Learning the language was hard but I was also coming to a stranger with my husband. It was a good thing, but it wasn’t easy in the beginning. In 2012 I went to Sudan and stayed there for 10 months. I went to Egypt for a year. In America, if you work you can get things here.”

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