I don’t think anyone who hasn’t been in the same position realizes just how much people give up to immigrate to another country. Sometimes, perhaps always, even immigrants take years before they realize how much they’ve given up.
People immigrate for so many different reasons. Some immigrate for a better education for themselves or for their children. Others immigrate for economic reasons. Others leave their countries as a result of political conflict, insecurity or war. Yet others may just need a new beginning.
Whatever the reason, I’m willing to guess there’s a certain amount of trauma involved in uprooting oneself to try to settle down somewhere that could be significantly different from what one has known.
I know I have been traumatized by the circumstances in Egypt post-revolution and by my decision to leave and try to settle in the UK.
It’s now been five years since I’ve started going back and forth between the two countries and two-and-a-half since I officially started settling in the UK. Only a few weeks ago my husband said something about one day settling down in Egypt again. My response was visceral: “I never ever ever want to live in that country again.”
After spending last month in Egypt, I think my relationship with my country may slowly be on the mend. (more…)