Article by: Shahd Elmelik
My name is Nabeela Munsoor, and I am a current postgraduate student that has been living in Malta for the past 5 years. I currently study at Middlesex University and my major is in International Business. Before moving to Malta, I used to live in Libya and due to the war situation, my family and I had come to move here for a better quality of life and education. My time in Libya was both bitter and sweet. Seeing the level, the country has gone down too always breaks my heart but every time I think of Libya I think of the different smells of food, family talks around a warm pot of tea and sweets with a night filled with love and laughter. The level of atrocities the country has gone through has only made the memory of home and everything getting back to normal a bit more of a far and distant hope. Being in Malta was another chance to education, freedom, safety and overall peace of mind. The warm sunny summers are what I looked forward to mostly. Having made friends here and knowing my way around made me blind to what was really happening in my first two years of living here. Understanding how the social system here works in Malta came in my 3-4th year of living here. Since I always had foreign friends and mostly Libyans in my circle. The main issue I faced while living here every year was the wait for my Residence permit. Which should by EU law take around 4-6 weeks, yet due to the lack of automation and short working hours in Malta Identity along-side the many applications being put it, ended up in me waiting around 4-10 months without a residence permit. Which In turn means, I cannot leave Malta, since I do not have a residence permit and If I did, I would not be able to come back into the country. Alongside the black stamp that would be given to a foreigner leaving the EU without a legal residence, no permit back into the Schengen zone for 5 years. It felt like a metaphoric prison. The more I learned of the many NGO’s here that are trying to make a change in the large migrant community the more I wanted to get myself involved. I had first been involved in an organization called AIESEC for around 3 months, then as a volunteer in a refugee led organization called Spark 15 for a very short time until I met Alec who was the head and founder of an organization called CCIF. Which deals with anti-human trafficking. I enjoy volunteering when I find the time, and I realize how many more issues and bottlenecks migrants here face when entering Europe. The level of discrimination they go through, the lack of opportunity and compassion they are given, the amount of pain they have to go through to start over with a new life. My aim is to one day be able to go back to either of my countries Libya or Sri Lanka and open an NGO of my own that stands for the rights and growth of women in Business. My educational background is in Business and now I seek to make a turn by doing my PHD in Political science to better understand how the social science and political world works to make my mark and leave a print behind that stands for change, power and equality when moving forward into the future.