Many years ago, Ziad’s family moved to Dubai from Iraq in search of better future. In 2016 Ziad took a tough decision to leave his family and come to Georgia to study dentistry at the University of Georgia. Many young people who come from Iraq choose to study at the University of Georgia, which served as a motivation for Ziad’s decision as well.
Ziad decided to learn Georgian language when he realized that his life in Tbilisi would be much easier and more interesting if he could manage to interact with locals. Ziad has many friends, some from Iraq and others from various countries and of diverse backgrounds. Among them are also young people from Georgia.
In addition to his demanding studies, Ziad enjoys spending time with his friends, which is why COVID-19 and restrictions related to social gatherings, were especially hard for him. However, Ziad decided to focus on his education. Once he finishes his studies, Ziad planes to go back home to his family and continue his career as a dentist there.
The COVID-19 pandemic is first and foremost a health crisis. The threat remains the virus: not people, not migrants, not stranded, or displaced persons. The pandemic is borderless; people are affected regardless of their nationality, ethnicity, religion, or status.
Migrants are not inherently more vulnerable to, or at heightened risk of, contracting infectious diseases. Rather, it is the conditions in which they migrate, live, or work that influence or compound health risks, including access to health services.
As an immediate impact, travel restrictions and border closures have left thousands of migrants stranded around the world, from labourers to international students, in need of assistance and in often precarious situations.
Photo: Eric Gourlan