This month i.e. September 2019, I have applied for a third extension of my Labour Market Access Permission.

You must be wondering, it might be because of the great employment I am enjoying and extension would be just to retain it. 

No No, your assumption is totally misconceived. You know or in case if you don’t know, as a law graduate with a legal practitioner background from my country of origin, I am not left with many job options here in Ireland. Though it is not that I am being very picky, it is just that I have applied to all sorts of jobs and as per the responses, for some I am overqualified and for some, I lack the relevant experience. Previous two work permits, one original and the second one as an extension, I only acquired with a hope to find a job yet it has led to nothing but despair and disappointment. I wasted my two work permits just looking for a single job.

When I look at the job market, I find all sorts of job, but every job requires a specific skill set. As a lawyer from a non-EEA country, my bachelors in law is not acceptable for practice here although it is acceptable for pursuing LLM. I need to sit in the FE1 exam before setting foot into legal profession once again and even after that it is a career to build from scratch as I would be required to do an internship/apprenticeship once again. I went through this procedure in my country of origin once, it took me 8-10 years to build something noticeable, whereafter I was forced to flee. Now I don't feel like mustering that kind of stamina again. But still, I am a law graduate and supposedly overqualified for many jobs and irrelevant to various job sectors. 

After the expiration of my second work permit, which is normally after six months only, I was not planning to renew it as I was not hopeful for finding any luck with jobs but out of the blue a nice lady from a nice recruitment agency invited me for a meeting to be hired for a nice receptionist job which obviously immediately ignited in me once again the dying flames of hope to find a career in Ireland as an International Protection Applicant. I said as an IP Applicant because on the occasion of success of my International Protection Application I would be eligible for work like any other Irish National and hopefully then it would not be so hard to find a job. So this time I applied for an extension in the hope of getting that receptionist job I was offered by that nice lady of a nice recruitment agency.

In the meeting, It was all good until she found out that I was an asylum seeker, after that she did not even bother to discuss that receptionist job with me. She said she could only help me with her personal contacts and not otherwise. She was just being nice, I know. Nothing is gonna happen though.

You know during the time when I was unable to pursue LLM due to lack of money and support in Ireland. I tried to upskill myself with Software Testing and Digital Marketing courses, as they were being offered free of cost and I passed them with flying colors. They make a good part of my CV yet they remain unable to land me a job in that sector as well. 

There are also many vacancies for drivers and despite being able to drive I am unable to acquire a license as this liberty is not afforded to asylum seekers even with work permission.

Currently, I am doing nothing, being jobless I feel as if something is dying inside me. I am no more passionate about a lot of things called life. Life seems dull and boring, feels like I am chained with invisible chains and being strangled by invisible hands, I want to move but can't, I want to breathe but feel suffocated. There are many asylum seekers and I salute them who spent 10, 11 or so years enduring this system, being workless, feeling worthless, before the availability of even this meager work permission which is, in fact, lame in many ways. Lame in a sense that it is available to those who are new in the system and have not received the first decision in the first 9 months of applying for asylum. Employers don’t understand and trust this permission, apparently, it is only for six months and there are many who were already past their initial phase of 9 months when this law came into force. Secondly, if you receive a first negative decision and go on to appeal it before the lapse of initial 9 months then you cannot obtain it, no matter how long it is going to take after that.  Though I still salute the person who stood up against joblessness of asylum seekers, dragged it into the courts and forced them to play their part in granting this though very limited and lame work permission which might not have worked for many but at least have benefited a few.

Now, I don't know what to do, I have not done any other job than advocacy yet it seems as if employers with office admin or legal secretary vacancies don't trust a person in my kind of situation. Should I wait for the decision on my Asylum Application or what? I don't know. This lack of knowledge and confusion is killing me from inside. I am losing hope. My senses are not making any sense anymore, I am stuck at some random thoughts for hours, seems impossible to come out of this mental agony. I don't know where this would take me and when this would end. I am still looking for an answer to this simple question whether this is a problem with my educational credentials or a problem with my legal status of being an asylum seeker. What is that which is causing trouble in the eyes of employers while employment for me still seems far from happening in the near future?

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This is just a thumbnail, Video has been embedded below.
This is the title of my poem published in a combined book project of Obheal and Cork City Libraries of the Book titled as, “A Journey Called Home”.

I wrote this poem in the context of being an asylum seeker in Ireland and waiting for a decision on Asylum Application for a long time and in some cases it has been over ten years before any decision was made. 

How an asylum seeker can feel while waiting in the state provided Direct Provision Accommodation for the decision on his asylum claim. I am sure many of us can relate to the feelings I expressed in my poem. I am grateful to Cork City Libraries, Obheal and specifically my Mentor, Respected, Mr Paul Casey, Obheal‘s founder for encouraging me and guiding me through all along.

Here is the poem for your kind reading and I have also embedded the video for the same poem as published by Obheal on their youtube channel. 


I was a human
when I came to Ireland for asylum,
To be dealt like a human by other fellow humans,
But now I feel no more the same, 
lying in my hostel, Feeling low and lame, 
just like a file, it is the very same, 
in the cabinet of the justice office.

I am no more than a file now,
I have a lot in my heart,
and a lot more in my mind, 
But what is written in that file,
Is all that gonna compile, 
the threads of my life, as they depend on that file.

If something is missing from it outright,
It does not count in a refugee’s plight,
The file has it all, as they say it,  
Whatever they say, I have to abide,
My mouth is shut my hands are tied,
Feeling as if no one is standing by my side.

How can a person make up his mind,
While relaxing at a table’s behind, 
Just from the file that is lacking, 
love, feeling, sense and a mind.

One who is just sitting behind,
The soulless walls of justice office,
Cannot picture the pain I feel,
To his conviction, it’s not real,
It’s just a story, it’s Just lies and I am just a file.

Would you believe that I don’t know about you but I did not believe it like at all. I did not think there was any bias in Ireland for asylum seekers. I really have loved Ireland and Irish people since my arrival here and I still love em. Never even found or I must say, noticed any hint of bias in the people around me against myself. But now I think, the people around us in the asylum centre are mostly from the NGOs who have refined attitudes and I did not have much experience of personal interaction with the general Irish public at large.

But this fact dawned on me because of people’s reaction to one of my articles, specifically the last one.

Isn’t it strange that while you are discussing the prevailing bias targeted toward a class of people, you become the target of the same?

Earlier to my personal knowledge, I was of the view that the statistics offered by various NGO’s about the prevalence of a biased environment against the asylum seekers actually did not reflect the reality on the ground.

But lo and behold, I wrote about it, people reacted to that and proved me wrong.
I would still look at the brighter side of the picture, think about the people who read the article and did not react. They are far greater in numbers than the ones who reacted to it negatively.

That’s a good and positive thing. Because of some negative comments, I cannot paint everyone with the same brush.

Let’s get into the comments I received and how I received, whereas there are no visible comments on this website under my previous article other than the Roos’s one.

Actually,  I always share my articles on a social platform, social platforms are crucial if you want to reach a bigger audience. So in order to reach the Irish audience which is my main focus, I post my articles, in the Irish branch of that platform, in order to convey my message to the Irish Public generally.

People have varied perspectives and portray their views in the shape of comments on my articles. It gives me a good general idea of the perspective of the public at large.

So, in the previous article, I mentioned the incident that happened with a Pakistani Irish, whose application for residency became a victim of professional negligence by INIS, as he said so.

I shared that article on this social platform, I would not mention the name the platform or show the names of people who commented on my article. My purpose is, again, not to defame but to educate and inform. So when I shared my article about that negligent treatment of that Pakistani Irish by the professional staff at INIS, I got very sharp-edged responses from Irish Public. I like when people criticize because discussion actually builds over criticism and development of thought is based on criticism. Another good point about it that people read your work and then give their opinion. So you are being read and responded to, based on your work.

 So, let’s read our First Comment

This guy is telling from his own experience of working with Pakistani guys in Dubai. I am not gonna defend Pakistanis here, I am not their spokesperson but I am just saying a few things in response, going to Dubai for work is another thing and seeking asylum due to a danger faced by someone is another. I would say every case is assessed on its own merits by Justice Office. No one is sitting there to grant asylum for economic reasons. If someone has an economic case that will be judged by Justice office and as you already know very strictly.

Another one!!

This guy is a real fan of mine. He follows me around on that social platform and whenever I post something. He gives his invaluable articulate, educated and learned opinion on that, even when I don’t ask, as you can see here as well in a very eloquent way he ventured his emotions. After this kind of comprehensive remark, I am at an extreme loss of words to respond to him as intelligently as he did, so let us leave this genius alone and read some comments from ordinary class ( I mean the normal people).


These comments actually portray the general impression of the Pakistani asylum seekers among the public of Ireland. About the sham marriages, you cannot deny the fact that they are not completely frivolous or far from reality but they are not the complete reality as well. Not every Pakistani or an asylum seeker is deceptive, playing games or into sham marriages. And not every marriage is a sham marriage as well. There are women who found their true life partners and there are men who found their soul mates, even from the asylum seekers class but it does not eliminate the fact of them seeking asylum due to security reasons. They found someone, can be called a stroke of luck, no one can be stopped from falling in love with someone just because he or she would be misjudged for doing so, “it’s just for Nationality”. The one who is marrying an asylum seeker also knows this fact, of him/her being an asylum seeker, but would you blame them for choosing an asylum seeker over a national? I don't think so.

You can’t give a generalised statement about everyone, and discredit them.

There has been a time in the past for Irish, and that time has not washed off completely when they were badly misjudged by Britons and Americans.
Let’s just read a few news items about that time and current times as well.
The Irish Times in its news item published in 2015 referred a news of New York Times where they showcased and proved the instances of the sign

“No Irish Need Apply”

in the US in the 19the century, in their words,

“The New York Times has proved definitively that the phrase “No Irish need apply” (NINA) was in widespread use in the middle of the 19th century in the United States.”

Another source mentions the fact that,

“When the economy was strong, Irish immigrants to America were welcomed. But when boom times turned down, as they did in the mid-1850s, social unrest followed and it could be especially difficult for immigrants who were considered to be taking jobs from Americans. Being already low in the pecking order, the Irish suffered great discrimination. 'No Irish Need Apply' was a familiar comment in job advertisements.”

Irish were being misjudged just for the general misconception about their inexpertise or alcoholism, as you can read here,

Irish racism in Victorian Britain and 19th century United States included the stereotyping of the Irish as violent and alcoholic.”[17]

These are a few snippets about the misjudgement of the Irish by the all-powerful class of nations. Now, has the situation completely changed? I don’t think so, the situation for Irish moving to the USA is still cannot be called ideal.

As of now in recent times like in 2012, Irish Times reported and detailed the situation of recently immigrated Irish citizens to the USA.

In the words of James, who moved to the USA from Ireland for a brighter future,
“It is not as easy as it used to be to find work here, especially if you don’t have a proper visa, but I knew an Irish lad who was working in a bar which happened to be looking for staff when I arrived in February, and they gave me a job as a barman. The Irish still seem to look out for their own”

I don’t get paid a wage but I earn good tips, and I’m a lot better off financially now than I was at home. Before I left Cavan, a lot of my friends were unemployed or emigrating if they weren’t still in college. It was very hard to get a group of friends together to go out at weekends, because they just didn’t have the money. Over here I’m able to rent an apartment, save a little money, and have a good time as well . . . It is a lot different to Cavan.”

The ratio of Irish citizens moving to USA was increasing as per the same news item.

“We can only go by our own statistics, but I would safely say that the number of people emigrating here from Ireland increased by about five or six times if not more in the last few years,” says Orla Kelleher, executive director of the Aisling Irish Community Center in Yonkers.

I consider Ireland a developed, first world country and it is a first world country, there’s no denying that but there were hard times for Irish as well, during those times and even now, they were and are being misjudged, which is not correct or right. They should be given every opportunity to improve their lives.

But there is a great difference in seeking asylum and moving to USA for a better future. Irish, moving to USA, can come back any time as they are not faced with life-threatening dangers, but asylum seekers including Pakistanis are running from, dangerous situations and conservative societies, at least for Pakistan I can say that if you don’t fit well with the narrative of Army, executive or religious authorities in Pakistan, you can be killed without a second thought as if your life has no worth.

I am not defending anyone here, but speaking for everyone including, my Irish national brethren, whom I consider my own nation, that this environment of misjudgement should not come in the way of development of the Human Race into the right direction. We have to cut down the divides and build bridges where saner minds should prevail.  

There is no doubt that an environment of bias exists for the asylum seekers in Ireland as independent has also reported the instances of misjudgement of asylum seekers but we can overcome this environment by working for it, in Ireland for others and in USA and Britain for Irish, why not, let's start it from today, let's start it from home, let’s start from my beautiful country, my amazing land, Ireland.

Shocking but true, yes this is a story narrated by a Pakistani Irish citizen about himself, how he was denied the extension of his leave to remain on the basis of his marriage with a Lithuanian lady. How the bureaucracy played a very unfair game, just to deny this guy the extension which he deserved rightfully. This article (I have given the link below) is very nicely written and gives out a lot of information on the subject of the extension of the leave to remain and what remedies can be availed. What this guy did when he was in trouble, how he was misled and how eventually he found out a way to find out about the game being played by the bureaucracy. How he was unable to retrieve the information about himself from INIS and how he was able to force the same authorities to reveal the true situation about his application for extension and permanent residency.

Bureaucracy is so strong in this country that this Pakistani guy whose name is Ali and his Lithuanian wife were on the brink of being deported back to their native countries. His file went up to the minister on the appeal stage where bureaucracy was able to manipulate the minister to believe that there was something missing in the file whereas it was not the case.

This story is also telling of the fact that some specific classes of people are generally treated that way. According to the information acquired by Ali, Pakistanis are generally treated badly by the high ups in the government offices.

I can relate to Mr Ali in the sense of being treated ill by some authorities Irish Authorities, I would like to refer to a few incidents happened with me which could be connected to this sort of treatment with Pakistanis specifically.

One of them is just ongoing where I am being denied to sit in an educational institution on an Irish fee as per the rules set out by the Justice office. Which you can read here.

Another incident happened with me at my interview for asylum stage where I was discredited on the basis of a document issued by the state administrative office of an EU country. I mean letters issued by the state administration offices of any EU country are the most trustworthy documents, specifically when they are numbered and dated along with all the contact details of that office for confirmation purposes. If such kind of a document is looked at with suspicion, this sort of attitude can be construed in many ways.     

I don't know this kind of behaviour is targeted towards Pakistanis only as Mr Ali assessed the matter or it is general behaviour towards everyone without discrimination. I mean if humiliation is done without discrimination, even then it’s not right but if it is targeted to a specific class of people then it's the worst form of it.   

The original account as narrated by Mr. Ali can be read here.

You would not believe how I have been dismayed by one of the very famous institutions in the county Cork. My status of being an asylum seeker made them so uncomfortable that they did not accept me on an Irish fee. I am not gonna name the college here as the purpose of this blog is not to defame anyone but education and information.

This year I applied for two courses at the same time, both of level 5, one was IT maintenance in commerce college and the other one was software development in an unnamed college. The test for both of the courses consisted of four papers including maths and English as well. I passed the test with high grades and was appreciated by the testing authority and offered a place on both of the courses in both of the colleges. But by the stroke of luck through an ad in the newspaper, I learned about software tester course in the Cork Training Centre and I joined that before even I was called for the pre-test for the above mentioned two courses by the above mentioned two colleges. So at the time of sitting in the pretest for above-mentioned courses, I was already a student of Cork Training Center, thankfully.

After passing, no institution questioned my eligibility to join the education/training on the basis of the labour permission I acquired from the Justice office and gave me admission on the basis of that but strangely enough, the unnamed college refused to give me admission on a Level 5 course. As it was clarified by the justice office in a booklet LMA 7as distributed by them in the Asylum Accommodation on page 11 that;

Can I access further education and training?

“Access to the labour market may allow for access to further education or training (FET) or third level courses that have an employment, vocational or workplace-training component. Your letter of permission from the Minister to access the labour market can be used as proof of your eligibility to work. Information regarding Further Education and Training can be obtained at your local Education and Training Board (ETB), or your local Intreo Centre or your Local Employment Service (LES). While access to the majority of these programmes is free of charge, participation in Post Leaving Certificate and higher education programmes will continue to be subject to the payment of fees”

As per this information I was eligible for education in a level 5 course for free or on Irish fee but I don’t know what prevented the unnamed college from giving me admission. I was admitted to Cork Training Center with no questions asked and totally free. I was given admissin in the Cork college of Commerce with no questions asked in a level 5 course in IT maintainance but I liked software development more than IT so I thought I would join that one in the unnamed college and got my name removed from commerce college. But Lo and Behold, the unnamed college did not give me admission at all on an Irish fee.I protested vehemently with a kind soul in the management of that college. As of now, she is trying hard to check the possibilities of me being allowed to sit in the class on an Irish fee as per the rules of Justice office.  It’s 11 September 2018 today, let’s hope it goes well and she finds a way for me to be allowed to sit in the class.

These are the hurdles which we face on daily bases, though I am in Ireland for over three years now and I am a legally resident person as per the EU directive Article 2(2).

“legally resident in the Union’ means where a natural person has the right to reside in a Member State by virtue of Union or national law, including consumers with no fixed address and persons seeking asylum under the Geneva Convention of 28 July 1951 Relating to the Status of Refugees, the Protocol thereto of 31 January 1967 and other relevant international treaties.”

As per the Irish Law from the revenue website of the Irish Government I am an ordinarily resident person.

“How to know if you are ordinarily resident for tax purposes
If you have been resident in Ireland for three consecutive tax years, you become ordinarily resident from the beginning of the fourth tax year.
If you leave Ireland after this time, you continue to be ordinarily resident for three consecutive tax years.”

So I have accrued some rights by legally residing in Ireland and by getting the labour permission enhanced the level of those rights but still do always remember, you are an asylum seeker and it's better if you keep your mouth shut and wait for the authorities to take pity on you. The guy who got us the work permission by filing a law suit in the court. remained without work for over eight years in Direct Provision. He said that while in the direct provision on a €19 weekly allowance, he suffered depression and loss of autonomy and being allowed to work was vital to his development, personal dignity and “sense of self-worth”.

But I presume still there is a long way to go before we could expect some positive decisions from the authorities. 

Roos Demol, a  magical, influential lady. Though I don't know much about Roos because of my disconnect with the social group that has been formed due to the philanthropic and human-loving efforts of Roos Demol in Kinsale Accommodation Centre.  But I would love to tell everybody what amazing is the little that I know about her.
The tireless efforts of a lady who is in her fifties, whose age may have been able to affect her body but not her rock-solid ambitions of helping the needy.  The little I know about this lady is that she is not an Irish but natively a Belgian yet resident in Ireland for some time now.
When she started visiting our centre initially, I considered her as one of those NGO people who visit our Accommodation for the sake of formality.
You know it's a brilliant idea to pay visits to any asylum seekers hostel and distribute a few brochures, with the useless information about their rights so that the NGO could mark an activity in their profile and legitimise the funds they received or would receive from their donors.
This happened a couple of times with me since I came here, for example, there was a group of ladies who came to our centre with the idea of Dance Therapy, but in fact, that was a kindergarten class activity like telling children's stories, acting weirdly using small children's props but I suppose they got funded for wasting adult's time. Only I and my friend signed up for the class and suffered badly two times when we dared to attend their class. It was conducted in our kitchen hall and was really embarrassing to be behaving like children and watching people passing smiles at us.
Another time when Noman, my friend, and I got some brochures, distributed by some social body's people for free First Aid training and other similar small trainings, we decided to give it a go.
We called at the given numbers on the brochure, initially they told us that we called very early for the training classes, later they said, the courses we were looking for were being taught in the other campus, when we called, "The Other Campus", where the main person we were supposed to talk to, was away. But they were very efficient. As soon as we called, they immediately noted our names and numbers with the promises of calling us back. But obviously, we never heard from them again.
Some NGO's (not all), set up offices and hire staff, just to present a picture to the donor groups, persons or companies, that they are really established NGOs and seriously involved in the business of social work, whereas they are not, its all artificial set up just to get funds for their made up projects/schemes.
Anyhow, coming back to our own Magical Lady, Roos Demol, when she initially came here, she met me as if she knew me for years, with a broad smile on her face and tender tone on her lips. I really thought she was just like any other NGO person.
She actually offered me to join a music class which was being set up just because of the efforts of Roos Demol, which I did. She brought Guitars for every student of the music class, I also got one, I could not continue the class for long due to the wide span of my activities, I was busy on many fronts at that time, with Fine Gael for my interest in Political activities, with my other educational endeavours which I was trying to start at that time whether it be in Law which was my area of studies or in Web Development which was my area of interest.
She arranged the Music teacher, she talked to our management for providing a separate room for the music class.
All of this done with the pure intention of empathy, selflessness and no expectations. I did not see this going far at that time.
But the iron lady she is she kept coming back, though she was struggling for a place to stay at that time but this struggle did not in any way hamper her philanthropic efforts for the residents of Kinsale Accommodation.
On every visit to accommodation, she brings bags full of clothes for men, women and children, other than that if anyone is in need of anything, he or she can ask Roos without any hesitation and she would launch a campaign with her circles for the provision of the same thing.
She is not shy in asking for charity stuff, for the asylum seekers.
Specifically, for this reason, I have given her the title of Secret Santa. It's not me only who view her this way but there are others from Kinsale Accommodation as well who view Roos with the same perspective as mine as Debora Oniah says,
"To me Roos, she is everyday Santa since Santa only come for Christmas"  
as  Ramata Salim says,
"She is one in million."   
as Melanie Marks calls her,
"Woman of strength, Roos, well done."   
and Joyce Luceba shows her love as,
"Wow! awesome Roos, she is a sunshine in winter season for asylum seekers and mankind. Power to her"
People just love her. At the moment Roos has actually developed a team for herself, she started her work from scratch, but now she has a team of trained musicians who have already conducted a successful fundraising musical programme and it was unbelievable to see that every participant in the musical show was an asylum seeker. She invited the civil society, other NGO's and her friends to attend the Musical Fundraiser Programme. I attended the event and was mesmerised by the performances of the artists, who all were asylum seekers from my own accommodation centre.

She came with nothing but she built an army for herself. She raised good funds that day and as of now, I suppose she would be in Limerick for another fundraiser programme of the same nature for MASI (Movement of Asylum Seekers in Ireland).
People of her age usually only struggle with the health issues but her age is shying away by her firm determinations to work for the deprived class. This is really commendable.
I really got impressed so I thought to pay a little tribute to her in my blog. Indeed, she is an example for many in Ireland, who don't want to work but blame the asylum seekers for taking up their jobs, whereas asylum seekers were not even allowed to work previously.
I salute to the efforts of Our Secret Santa, our own Roos Demol and I wish her the very best of luck.

Programmer Poetically Asking A Girl Out On A Date


That day we were studying the if statements in Java, Robert, my classmate, who always like to have a laugh and very fond of writing imaginative stories, started having fun with ifs and buts etc in the break time. There during the break in the canteen this freestyle poem came to my mind, I dedicate this poem to my classmate Robert, it's just for fun, a freestyle poetic request to an imaginative girl out on a date.

If you’d like to go on a date
Or else I‘ll take you on a date,
If you say no it’s a Boolean false,
If you say yes that’s a Boolean true,
Else if, in my mind, not going through,
How many pints would you like to have,
Value should be integer or a double though,
We will sit there like curly braces,
Would not leave any blank spaces,
Won't let anyone to go through.
And and or or, I’m not gonna listen,
Or else I will send you to the prison,
Your single yes is only in my vision,
No is never a yes, even if double equal is written,
Everything will happen with only your permission,

Let’s make it a date which u would never hate,
Like static void my application ,
Would not accept any explanation,  
To every other answer I have a reservation,
A yes would enlighten my imagination,  

Asad is not right, he’s feeling heart tight,
You are the only one who can set it right,
Writing a yes to it won't take many bytes,
Look into my eyes they are full of many frights,
Give me an answer which will end my plight.