On a beautiful late spring morning, the staff of ADRA Albania had the opportunity to interview one member of the Egyptian community, who is heavily affected by the string of events brought by the COVID-19 pandemic. We meet him at the premises of the Gonxhe Bojaxhiu community centre, in the administrative unit 8, in Tirana, right after the last distribution of food and hygienic supplies, that ADRA organized for Roma and Egyptians communities throughout last May.
Finished to set the gear for the interview, a thin, well-dressed 50-year-old man with dark skin takes a seat in the room in front of us and introducing himself as Tani. Immediately, we were surprised how the features of his face showed fewer years than his real age.
After giving him the time to get comfortable with the environment and the camera, we ask him to introduce himself to break the ice with us.
After a short introduction of himself as the head of the family composed by 11 members, he told us that his main wish of being part of the Egyptians community is to have educated children, fully integrated into the Albanian society through the support of the local and national institutions.
The location of where he’s settled with his family can is located in the early outskirts of Tirana. The living conditions are quite extreme. for instance, the water source is slightly far from where he lives. Every day, especially now with the beginning of the warm summer, he needs to go back and forward to collect it for his family.
The biggest challenge for his children, just like for all children of the community, is the ongoing discrimination by which he and his community have been affected because they are considered and treated as second-class citizens. As he mentions during the interview, a big obstacle for the children in accessing fair education is the lack of some documents that are required by the schools.
A great deal of effort must be taken to bring positive changes and to spread the knowledge of Egyptian culture, traditions and make aware the public opinion to don’t perceive us like a plague of the society, he states.
Then, he concluded the interview by telling that he will be always in the first line for advocating for his and community’s rights.
Tani is an outstanding example in the community. For many years he has been advocating and lobbying for the whole marginalized communities, to help them access a better life. The community considers him a point of information and orientation in case they need to access public services. Furthermore, they see him as the voice of the community, have faith in him and consider him as a good example.
We hope that he will fulfil his wishes and of course, we as ADRA Albania will be always on the side of vulnerable people and we will support his cause