In 2015 I left my job as an accountant in Spain and moved to Calais in France, where for 6 months I shared the close and intimate space and dreams of a group of young men in the Jungle, all refugees from Daraa in Syria. They were Wassem, Ahmad, Ahmed, Ammar, Fadi, Thaaer, and Muhammad. They called me فستق Pistachio. I quickly became their daily encouragement and they became mine. Testament to my belonging was when Wassem, the boss of the “Mafia Konbous” offered me a bed of my own in the blue tent he shared with his six “brothers”. I became one of their gang, their sister, never the women or the female object of desire. I was never afraid of them, I never felt any danger would come to me from those men.
In the Jungle, where up to 8,000 men were temporarily living on their own, unpacked and separated from their families, we managed to create a new type of family whose keyword was “respect”. I was witness to their adventures and was the first person called from the back of a truck as it entered the UK. Today, while each one of us can say that we have reached the objective we had back then, we all continue to miss that transitory time when we co-existed together. “One more فستق” is evidence of a time when each of us was at the beginning of a significant new step in our lives.