how to go from stateless to settler in 5 not-so-easy steps

words & images ahmad diab 

The further Alif walked away from the fortified building, the more puzzled he became. On the 30-minute walk to the busy bus station awkwardly sitting under Al-Rayees Bridge, he stopped at least three times, debating whether he should go back. They must have made a mistake, he thought. But they would not let him back in, now that he had his visa. He was relieved that he did not have to wait any more, he was relieved that he could fold away the plans B, C, and D that he had already drafted. The colors, numbers and codes of his first visa reignited his adolescent stamp-collecting quirkiness. He must have bumped into at least two people, as he was studying its every last detail on his walk in the chilly Damascus autumn. By the time he was under the bridge, Alif was slowly making his way towards international statelessness. The visa said it clearly: “Nationality: XXX.”

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