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A disturbing story brought to us by Disability Now / 31 July 2012

This is an extract from an excellent article in Disability Now (DN) about disabled asylum seekers using art to express themselves through a painted mural in Bristol.

In the DN article, Disabled Iraqi Ahmed tells us a disturbing account about their lives and their treatment in Britain.

"People in Britain don’t seem to like the disabled. I see lots of disabled people. They drink in the park, they have nowhere to live. They try to kill themselves ...

"Britain says Iraq is rubbish but even in Iraq and Kurdistan people are treated better than this. My family send me money every month ...

"Who made me disabled? The government. Britain, America, Iraq. The governments fought. They made me disabled. They injured my leg in an explosion. I lost my mind. I lost my brother. My mother can’t talk properly now: she lost an eye and an arm in the explosion.

"The Government should be helping these people. They put me into a hostel with people who abuse drugs and drink. I’ve never drunk alcohol in my life. Why house me with drug users?

"Does this country respect disabled people? They make them sleep on the street.

"In my country, when someone dies, people come and check on you. My brother died last year. Only one person came to see me when I heard that he’d been killed. I was bleeding inside. I couldn’t talk. My family say “Are there any people around you?” I say “No.” My mother says “Be strong.”

"I’ve never seen such bad people as here. No one came to help me. I needed people to listen. I felt my insides going into a small hole. I needed a place to forget my pain. When I hear news about Iraq I just cry.

"I’m not here to slag off the Iraqi government or British government. I can’t talk properly. I don’t remember how long it’s been since I talked to my mum ... lots of people sleep on the street. My inside is always crying.

"Britain came to my country. They smashed everything, they killed people. When I came here I asked for help, but they wouldn’t help me. England has lost its mind ...

"People call me names. They say I come from the jungle. They don’t believe the things I say. They say I’m lying. I’m not lying ... it’s because I’m brown and disabled.

"They’re racist and the Government doesn’t do anything to help. They should be shouting, “Look after disabled people!”"

For the full story go to the DN web site.

Keywords: art,art and mental health,artist,arts and health,black issues,community arts,disability,disability art,disabled asylum seekers,disabled peoples movement,disabled peoples protest,discrimination,visual art



31 July 2012

I've experienced a lot of kindness while wobbling around with MS. I think it pays to remember kindnesses are part of our nature. Cruelty is also unfortunately part of our nature. I think Ahmed's experience and the way it was expressed must be conveyed so that many more people can see his story.

The person who let us become involved in conflict in Iraq and its collateral damage makes a great play of his religious values. He also makes a great deal of money. Perhaps he could be persuaded to put his money towards making sure damaged people receive some kindnesses in Britain, its his moral duty.


31 July 2012

Its appalling this attitude from the government and British public towards people with disabilities. And disgraceful how we treat those who flee here hoping for some compassion. More especially because we are one of the richest countries, yet only those with the greatest wealth seem to prosper and give not a damn about the rest of us.

Arty Farty

31 July 2012

I used to think that DN was a joke but they do seem to come up with some good stuff lately.