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Fuck being a refugee

‘Fuck being a refugee’ is a song recorded by three different musicians in three different locations along the Balkan Route. It describes the struggles of leaving a damaged home in search of a better life, the fears and life-threatening obstacles of the journey toward the unknown and the harsh realities of life as a refugee. 


The first verse and initial beat was written by a hip hop artist and filmmaker we met in Bosnia. He travelled from Algeria, fleeing persecution from the authoritarian government for previous content he had released. He prefers his name not to be known. 


The second verse was written by Amine, a Moroccan rapper we recorded in a squat in Exarchia, Athens. He used a microphone he carried across the sea from Turkey to Greece in a small overcrowded dinghy he calls ‘the boat of death.’


The chorus was written and performed by Kasoz, a Kurdish musician. He told us the words of the chorus—‘My love is gone’—refer to the feelings of a mother when her son sets off on the ‘journey to the unknown’. A family will often send only their eldest son on the dangerous journey to try to gain asylum in a safe country. The cost for the whole family to be smuggled is too expensive, so they hope he will earn money and bring the rest of the family later.


The title, ‘Fuck being a refugee’, is a powerful reminder that nobody chooses to live that journey happily.

Fuck being a refugee 


Ten or twenty what you gonna do about it

The cemetery is not far, so why did you piss in it?

I can smell the morning from my bedroom

It’s the afternoon and there’s no lunch, coz my mum’s broke

I roll a dust of weed from last night

It don’t make me laugh, not even Gad Elmaleh (comedian)

I sprinkle my worries in the air, they fall as one piece

I finish my joint, pff fuck I am out of weed again

If only the peels could be eaten

But a dog only gives birth to a dog

I start to walk backwards, stopping every five minutes

Capturing some memories, so I can imagine

What the fuck, I can’t sleep at night

I take out my complaints in a trash bag, 

Waiting for the municipality

I smell dead bodies, there's no hope no more

Welcome to my fucked up life

Step in without a mask

But it’s charity for you

shut up you haven’t lived through anything

Your tongue is so long, put a rod in it

Ask the illegal immigrants why they don’t watch the Titanic

Watch your face, the slap may come back

Fuck your words, they’re getting more tasteless

The slap hits hard, I'll speak my mind till I die

Serve the pain like a 2 mg pill

Take the desert out of the people and they will die of cold flu

My love is gone

My love is gone

I left toward the unknown

My mother was shedding tears behind me

I still feel her heart burning

I left toward the unknown in a boat of death

Seeking dignity and a good life

I took the risk to arrive

and if I don’t make it, at least my dreams will

And if I die, I ask for forgiveness

From those I cherish and my dear mother who raised me

I don’t mean to be selfish

Long are the nights, yeah, long are the nights

I didn’t sleep lying next to the graves

Searching in my memories

Ah, my memories

Mysterious future, a path full of difficulties

My heart grew harsh and fearless

Ah, it’s fearless

I left toward the unknown

I left toward the unknown

Street Dawg, I left toward the unknown

I left toward the unknown

My love

My love

My love is gone

My love

My love is gone