This story or rather this encounter needs to be written in English, the only language me and Mimo can use to communicate. Mimo, Muhammed, the Palestinian young man approached me at Arlanda Airport and we spend hours together waiting for a delayed flight to Rome, March 26 2017. Early next morning I wrote down my adresses and phonenumber on a piece of paper and explained that he can not find me on social media. We said goodbye at Fiumicino Airport in Rome after I helped Mimo to buy a busticket for Trieste. I was on my way to Circolo Scandinavo in Rome and he was on his way to Tríeste to appeal for citizenship, to try to find a new home country after three years of waiting for a decision in Sweden.
Mimo told me his story: no family, no papers, no future, no homecountry, no possibility to earn his life. Olofström is a small village with 13.800 inhabitants and compared to other villages in Sweden, Olofström has welcomed a lot of refugees. Back in Sweden I find the name of one responsible coordinator on the municipality official website. From what I read at this website it would not be possible to live three years in Olofström without any decision about the possibility to stay, Mimo had no identitypapers, followed by no rights to go to school to learn Swedish nor to get a job.
What story did Mimo tell? Was that the truth or did he fabricate some parts? His origin? His age? His family story? His arrival to Sweden? He was scared and haunted, no doubt.
I call the integration authorities, April 10.
The municipality has nothing to do with the decisions about refugees, I am told.
They do nothing and can not influence the decisions. Many refugees has to wait for years to get a decision. If the answer in the end is no, they are sent back. Back to their origins or if they have no country to return to, they are sent back to the country they first arrived to. For Mimo it leads to going back to Italy and Trieste. But leaving Sweden with no identitypapers means that he is not ever able to come back.
To wait for a decision for three years is not unusual, I am told. His chances are minimal to be accepted. The authorities don’t believe in his age, his story, his origin – they investigate.
Probably Mimo now is living among thousands of refugees in one of the large tentcamps in Trieste in dispair and with no hope for the future. The winter is on its way and hard rain and storms cover the north of Italy.