Chapter XVI – Tanger – Morocco


Jesus was a refugee from the republic of central Africa.
He fled his country due to the civil war between Christians and Muslims community there …
Here in Morocco, he was studying but was also involved in music.



He was performing as singer in different musical projects and also in the church of the Youssoufia neighbourhood where he was in the gospel opera.





Quickly, we started doing stuff together, as I was filming a music video for him, he was introducing me to his friends who were here and there in the country … refugees or migrants from sub-saharian countries.

We went to Tanger, where I met and help his friend Benjamin, who was taking care of a lot of central African migrants in the city.

The convoy I’ve been organizing from Tanger to Rabat was including 40 migrants.
The aim was to enable the irregular refugees and migrants of Tanger to access to the closest unhcr office in Rabat about 220km away.

As Benjamin told me, many of the people there had the right to pretend to the asylum (or already have it) but could not re-actualize their UNHCR documents as they had to do this in Rabat and didn’t have the money to pay the bus to get to the capital.

Benjamin told me that carritas organisation was taking care of the transportation before … not anymore.



So I decided to collect the money to pay for it and to enable the people to do their documents so that they could at least benefit from the support given to the statu of beeing “refugee”.




I tried to make the most out of it, with the help of all the people I knew i’ve been able to gather enough money to pay for everyone.



But having the money was the easiest part of the job.
As said before, everyone was warning me about the real intentions of people, then, I didn’t wanted this money that my friend gave me to help to be wasted …





And even if I trusted Benjamin and the needs he explained to me, still, I had this tiny little in my head reminding me that it could be a way for them to take advantage of my ignorance.

Then, I had to figure out how to send the money to all the people of Tanger and to make sure that they would come the proper day to register.

After calling the unhcr office I figured that the re-actualization process was happening only every Thursday of each week from 8am to 12am and th the staff would not be able to manage more than 6-7 people in a raw …

That’s how I decided to organise this weekly convoy of 6-7 people from tanger to Rabat (which should be easier to manage) …



Even if the process was longer this way, I didn’t care, as the most important for me was to make these people who trusted me to access to their refugee statu.





And the first day sent well …

as good as it could …



It’s a pity to realize how fast and easy the things are going when a “white occidental guy” is coming along the procedure, helping the migrants and trying to make the things better.


I suspect the staff from the UNHCR office to be kind, pleasant and gentle only because of me … I hope i’m wrong.


So far, most of the migrants got their documents …

But it was a struggle to go back there every Thursday … To organise the whole process, to be on call with the UNCHR office and Benjamin all the time trying to figure out the best way to make the best out of the convoy.


Every Thursday morning, I was going with them through the application forms, making them writing their stories … trying to understand each case, every situation to make it as clear as possible for the UNHCR, waiting in the office room full of people in the same situation than us …