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From Persecution to Punishment: A Second Exile

30 January 2015

Together with Sr Margaret from JRS, Souleyman gave a workshop to Fifth Former’s of Stonyhurst College. We asked him his impressions and reflections after the workshop.

He was grateful that the hall welcomed them warmly. For him, the students showed ‘a scholarly purposefulness and positive approach’. He was also happy to see the pupils listen very intently and show ‘honest desire’ to know about the detention situation for asylum seekers in this country.

In the workshop, he posed the question “what part of our mission statement do you believe to be primary and vital?’ After a careful thinking, a young man suggested that it was ‘accompaniment, as a platform to explore’ and ‘the impact of being a healing presence in a very negative environment’. It was a person-centred approach to the issue of detention.

Souleyman saw that the students were particularly interested in personal stories. They were thirsty to understand questions and realised prayer always supports detainees. They also understood how important it is to write to their MPs. Responding to their desires to surf and broaden their knowledge about the issue, he gave the students the addresses of some of the useful Internet websites.

At the end of the workshop, Souleyman prayed together with over three hundred students in Stonyhurst College. Here is their prayer, or rather, a prayerful poem.

God’s plan is always the best. 
Sometimes the process is painful and hard.
But don’t forget that when God is silent,
he’s doing something for you.

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Jesuit Refugee Service UK
The Hurtado Jesuit Centre
2 Chandler Street, London E1W 2QT

020 7488 7310
uk@jrs.net

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