Refugees in Malta

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A selection of stories and videos of refugees living and working in Malta


Dying to play


"We play football in Malta every week, two and three times a week" said Fuad, a Somali beneficiary of protection in Malta, "we sometimes have other nationalities join us, we offer our welcome to all." Some of the Somali footballers expressed the difficulties they face adapting within Maltese society, yet the coming of people together seems to bridge these gaps and allows people to communicate in the universal language of sport.


In October 2014, a group of around 25 Somali came together to play a five-a-side football tournament at one of Malta's leading sports facilities. Spanish and Maltese players joined in on the pitch and children gathered to watch the football game. National team goalkeeper Justin Haber, dropped by as the players took turns to attempt to score a goal. Having succeeded in the international arena, he served as an inspiration for all and reminded that "against all odds, it is possible to succeed".






faysal  Meet Faysal: Faysal is a young Syrian refugee who arrived in Malta in 2013. When war broke out in Syria, Faysal and his family were forced to flee the country. He was unable to take his paintings and sketches with him. But Faysal took photos of his art before fleeing and stored them on an external hard drive, keeping them safe throughout his arduous journey to Malta.  Read Faysal's story
muusu Meet Mussu:  At night they came for him. He was walking on his way home, when he felt hands pushing him down to the ground. They were two hooded men from Al Shabaab. He could only see their eyes staring at him as they dragged him to a hut. He was waiting to get his punishment – his hand was to be chopped. Read Mussu's story.


abdul  Meet Abdul: Having been in Malta since 2005 and granted international protection, Abdul's idea to open a salon came to him when he showed up for a scheduled appointment at a local hairdresser . When Abdul entered the salon, the hairdresser refused to cut his hair and Abdul was turned away being called "an unwanted immigrant". Read Abdul's story.
refugeevoices6 'I found protection in Malta': The UNHCR office in Malta has worked with a local production company to develop five Public Service Announcements (PSA) TV spots to raise awareness about how protection status is changing the lives of individuals who found safety in Malta. Read about the campaign.

Hagos_400_edit Hagos' warm smile does not reveal the difficult and painful experiences he went through when he fled his home in Eritrea. Read Hagos's story 

“He had promised me the only thing I wanted, a sense of security of a life of happiness,” said Nikki who was a victim of exploitation. Read Nikki's Story

Samsam_0258 Outside Samsam's home, wind runs softly through colourful and widely travelled clothes, telling silently the story of a long journey from Somalia to Malta. This journey began 2006 in Mogadishu, in the hard-fought capital of the failed state of Somalia. Read Samsam's story
Lawand_0001 "Imagine you can't practice your own language," Lawand, a Kurdish Syrian says on the right to have their language in schools and on state television. Syria does not allow Kurds to practice their cultural. The Kurdish language, holidays, marriage and right to organization are restricted. Read Lawand's story
sanaa_footage_edit  Sanaa left South Sudan when she was six years old together with her parents and sisters. She arrived in Malta in 1995. "I know from where I come from but I feel Maltese." Read Sanaa's story


Dying to play

The Story of Lawand

The Story of Sanaa

The Story of Samsam's family

The Story of Nikki

The Story of Hagos