20th Annual Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest People

Afwerki, who was born in Asmara, the capital of Eritrea, smokes an electronic cigarette in the office of “Alef”, an initiative that assists asylum seekers in Haifa and operates under the African Refugee Development Center (ARDC), in the Hadar neighborhood, Israel, March 15, 2021. 'It's not that they allowed me to feel at home. I realized this already in 2013, that if you want to feel at home, then you have to decide that you are at home. From now on, I will not feel that I am a stranger. Wherever I am, I need to feel belongs. I'm already here, no one can change that. Some people might say, 'Well, you're accepted here,' and then you will feel a sense of belonging. But if they don't tell you this, you will constantly feel like a stranger. No one will make you feel free. You need to stand up for yourself and think and feel and believe that you belong in this place. A combination of all these things makes me feel like I'm not exactly at home, but still belong to this place.”

Photo Detail
Date Taken: 03.2021
Date Uploaded: 11.2022
Photo Location: Haifa, Israel
Camera: NIKON D600
Copyright: © Daniel Rolider