Abdul Rezaie fled Afghanistan to Norway at the age of 16. Tomorrow he will travel to Lebanon to help Syrian refugees. Over the past six months, Quality Hotel Region Stavanger has raised over NOK 100,000 (USD 11,000) for refugee work in Lebanon.
Abdul fled because his family was forced to relocate to Pakistan after his father was killed and he came to Norway in 2008 after a long and dangerous journey. Then he had been through one of the toughest routes a refugee can experience. First he went to Iran, then via Turkey across the Mediterranean to Greece.
– It was a tough trip in an open boat over the sea, but nothing compared to the further trip over Adriatic to Italy. There I was a blind passenger, locked in a container on a cargo ship, says Abdul.
Afterwards he went through France, Germany, Denmark and Sweden.
– Then I took the train to Oslo, and here I am, 11 years later, he says.
Siblings in Pakistan
Abdul has become a Norwegian citizen and lives in his own house in the municipality of Klepp. He has spent the last years working as a night watchman at Quality Hotel Pond. In Pakistan, his two siblings are 15 and 19 years old, because of the conditions in their homeland it is not an option to return to Afghanistan. Abdul is supporting the two siblings.
– I send them money every month and I visit them every summer, he says.
Regional Director Lars Roalkvam says Nordic Choice Hotels and Quality Hotel share a tradition and a culture of doing more than expected through their WeCare work.
– The reason why we have chosen to support Abri Aid is that it is an independent, non-profit organization that helps people in their extreme need. They have given insight into a world that has left a deep mark, and now we have the opportunity to take responsibility outside our own hotel door, he says.
The money is highly appreciated. Up in the Beka Valley, over a million refugees are experiencing a harsh winter, for some of them the seventh year in a row. The money from Quality Hotel will be used to buy tents, stoves, fuel and other winter equipment, and Abdul will help with the distribution and see with his own eyes what the conditions are like. An important part of Abri Aid’s support is also medicines and surgery, especially for children in need.
– We appreciate the commitment from Quality Hotel Region Stavanger. It is an important contribution to the situation in Lebanon, but also inspiring with regard to our further efforts, says Alfred Ydstebø of the Base Gruppen, the founder of Abri Aid.