Meeting the King

Meeting the King

Last week our friend Aziz received a mystery invitation to an event at the local community centre. The person in charge didn’t explain and told him not to tell anyone.

Aziz was bemused but said ok. 

He’s an open, friendly and easy-going guy, a 28-year-old refugee from Sudan whom Care4Calais supported before he received his leave to remain. Now he doesn’t have to worry about his asylum case any more he’s busy carving out a career as an artist. But as it turned out, he used this event to share some very important experiences.

When he arrived at the centre, the staff told him he was going to meet the King.

“I said, ‘which king?'” Aziz told us, laughing. “Because I was confused.”They meant King Charles of course.

“I couldn’t believe it when I saw him, and I thought, how do you say ‘hi’ to a king? Do I say ‘How are you?’ Or ‘How’s it going?”

“But he came up and said, ‘Hi Aziz, how are you doing?’ And then we started talking. We talked about a lot of things, like how I came to the UK, and how long I’ve been here. 

“He asked me what I thought of the UK’s immigration policy. I said, ‘Well, it could be better,’ and he was interested. He asked me how they could improve it, and I told him many refugees have useful skills and experience, but they’re not allowed to work. Sometimes they can’t work for years because they’re waiting. The government pays for all their housing and food, but if they were permitted to work then they could pay rent, you know, pay tax. He said it was a good point.”

Aziz is still laughing bemusedly about his strange and unexpected encounter during the Royal visit and says he enjoyed it. “It was good to meet him,” he says. “And I liked that he listened when I talked about immigration and refugees.”

Given that King Charles let it be known that he opposed the Government’s Rwanda scheme last year, we liked it too.

About Care4Calais

Care4Calais was founded by a group of volunteers with the sole aim of supporting the people of the Calais refugee camps, providing fresh meals, warm clothing, heating and important legal and medical support.

We are not politicians – we are people like you who simply believe that every human has the right to be treated in a fair and dignified way.

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