Friday 3 June 2011

A Disturbing Start to the Jummah Day

I had a rather disturbing start to my Jummah day today. I was woken at 7am by loud and insistent pounding on my door. I wondered momentarily if the postman had gone crazy and come early for a change. My husband opened the door and from the voices below, I realised it was the police. They were asking about Aunty F who lived with us, but were using a different surname to the one we were familiar with. They came into my room and asked if I knew Aunty F, I said yes, but the name I know is different. I explained that a mutual acquaintance asked if she could stay for a while as she is homeless and we needed help with the school run. They asked to see our passports, which just happened to be close by because we were about to get the children’s one’s renewed and then proceeded to give us a lecture about harbouring an illegal overstay and the fact that we could get nine years in prison for it – all I could say was that I had been honest and that the name I had for Aunty F was different to the one they were asking about. My understanding was the Aunty F had overstayed but that her case was going through the court system.

In any case, she was arrested and they told us she was being taken to a detention centre, we said we would inform the mutual acquaintance.

Thank fully, the kids slept through the whole thing (I did ask them at one point to keep the noise down and not to scare the children). They are attached to her, especially Gorgeous, and would have been frightened and upset.

Aunty F showed remarkable cool considering the situation. She packed a bag, hugged me good bye, said thank you and walked out with the police officers. It’s strange how things work out. Aunty F had one daughter due to marry after Ramadan and her youngest daughter had had two families approach with marriage proposals. All three of her daughters had been begging her to come back to Pakistan. She missed her daughters and two grandsons so much, she cried every day. She was desperate to be at her daughter’s wedding but did not know how she would be able to attend. She had two suitcases and various bags in her room packed and ready to be sent to Pakistan tomorrow for her daughters’ trousseau. Ironically a fiend of hers had an interview at the immigrations offices with her four children today, she had asked Aunty F to come along and wait outside for moral support. She will be wondering where Aunty F is as well.

I am feeling a bit useless, a bit guilty for some reason and a bit worried about her at the moment. All I could do was get the kids up and dressed, get dressed myself and head into work, slightly disturbed and wondering what this day will bring next.

Please make dua for Aunty F (and me please) that Allah SWT resolves her situation and makes it easy for her and her family.

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