It’s horrible to think about it now.
For six days, we were in the boat and on the sea from Egypt. There was waves and water getting into the boat. There were 600 people on the boat, including women and children and with no water or food, people were dying.
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The ship was going to Italy and it was supposed to take seven days but after six days, a ship from France or Italy - I’m not quite sure - came and saved the people.
Before that, I was living a very good life in Sudan, I was happy there. I was born in the Darfur region and grew up in Nyala, where I played football with my friends every day and for a team at U17 and U19 level.
But due to the war circumstances and the crisis which happened in Darfur, for a long time, I didn’t know whether I’d be able to play football again.
As a black African tribe, my people were discriminated against by the government.
I was arrested, imprisoned, beaten and threatened to be killed, just because I was seen as being in the administration against the government.
It was because of the war and the situation for my people, there was no way I could stay, so I needed to leave my home and Sudan.
I left Nyala after my father contacted one of his friends in the capital Khartoum and he took me to a place called Port Sudan which is close to Egypt. From there, he arranged for me to go to Egypt and I got the boat.
We ended up in Italy, by the sea and then I went to France and stayed in Calais, sleeping on the street, eating from charities and if you don’t find charities, eating from dust. I was fortunate enough to get a chance to come to the UK by lorry.
I’ve been here in Preston for over two years now and it feels great to be able to play football in this new environment. I’m so grateful to everyone involved with the Sir Tom Finney Soccer Centre.
Of course, I still miss my home and my friends in Sudan – I wish I played with them. But also in the UK, the UCLAN Sport Arena, they provide everything we need – the kit, the coaches and we play football – it’s the same as when I was in Sudan.
Away from the football, I work with the British Red Cross as a volunteer and I help translate for people, from Arabic to English. I go there every Thursday and if they need me on other days I go to the main office to help them.
When I first came to this country, my English wasn’t good but I have improved and because some of the people here haven’t been here for as long, I can help them to translate so I go with them to the Job Centre, doctor, dentist, to help translate and just to help them.
Now I’ve done my English, I’m doing my access course at Preston College, access to science, and I’ve applied to University this year so can hopefully get in to study oil and gas safety engineering. I’ve already got an offer from UCLAN to study next year.
Find out more about our partnership with BUCs and the College & University Grassroots Hubs programme. The release of the film below coincides with Football Welcomes, the Amnesty led initiative which profiles other football related projects across the country which are helping refugees and asylum seekers.