May 18, 2024

Brighton Journal

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He rented a room in Spain, but his contract was canceled for a reprehensible reason: “I’m broke.”

He rented a room in Spain, but his contract was canceled for a reprehensible reason: “I’m broke.”

It was the first time Saad Belhaj, 20, was looking for an apartment in AlmeriaIn Andalusia (Spain) He lived with his parents in a suburb of the city and wanted to be closer to his job as a clerk in a sports store. The search is not easy, but finally Got the best accommodation: Affordable, well located and with three roommates of the same age. But, after signing the rental agreement and with the keys in your possession, One of the tenants called him and said he did not want to live with him For an unusual reason.

Sat Born in MoroccoBut when he was three months old his parents moved to an Andalusian city. “I spent my whole life here. I love it and I’m happy.”The warned young man revealed I have never been a victim of racism For its appearance. Until the moment when he decided to rent this apartment, last September 9th.

“After signing the rental agreement, pay the deposit [de 150 euros por la habitación] with the owner of the apartment and keep the key, One of my prospective colleagues called me to communicate an ‘urgent’ matter. I went to the apartment and there he gave me a message Cannot rent with: His father did not want him to live with Moors or Gypsies“, he said Nation.

Saad was born in Morocco but has lived in Almeria since he was three months old.Courtesy: Saad Belhaj

That word “Moore” is used A derogatory way to refer to people of color, of Moroccan or Arab descent or descent. “We got into the living room and he was having a hard time talking and he was stuck I was in tears. Mom said no problem, but when he told dad I was going to go home, he didn’t want to. He had bad experiences and did not want his daughter to live with Moors or Gypsies”, he narrated.

He signed the rental agreement and was given the keys, but his partner canceled it.
He signed the rental agreement and was given the keys, but his partner canceled it.Courtesy: Saad Belhaj

Saad was stunned. “I was shockedFrozen. I have never experienced anything like it. I don’t know how to react They asked for a chance to meet me. Now that I think about it, I didn’t have to ask anybody for a chance because of where I came from,” he said.

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The young man tried to persuade, but the tenant was forceful: “He told me that he had tried to get his father to see the reason, to meet me and see that I had a good job, that I was a good boy, that I should dress. Well done. Is it because I’m Moroccan that I can’t have a good job and dress well? frantically”.

Unfortunately, though Saad defends the fight against racism: “You don’t keep your head down. Moroccans are not thieves or murderers, we have not killed anyone. I cannot accept that this is still happening today.”

Spanish system SOS racismIt cares for and provides legal advice to victims of racial discrimination or racism, It stated in its 2018 annual report that there were 359 complaints of this type of violence In nine provinces.

The young woman was accompanied by another of the three tenants, who Saad said said they could not get involved because they were friends and decided to live together. “I was so overwhelmed because I felt so empty. So I came and she gave the deposit money. The apartment key lasted me two hours”, he explained.

Stepping out the door of the building, he began to analyze everything he had experienced. “I’ve assimilated everything, but I’m still trying to make sense of it. It gave me a lot of downfall and I was so disillusioned with humanity that I broke down“, he added.

Your colleague, ElenaSaad narrated the episode of racism he experienced through a thread on his Twitter account, which went viral. “Racism pure and simple”, was sentenced. “My soul is hitting the ground (…). When Saad told me he was very nervous and his mouth was shaking,” he noted in the publication.

Elina, Sath's co-worker, shared her story on Twitter and it went viral.
Elina, Sath’s co-worker, shared her story on Twitter and it went viral.Twitter: @Elenaacarrasco

He added: Twitter please do your magic Help me find a room where he will be treated with the respect everyone deserves Make you feel at home.”

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The tweet crossed 28k likes in two weeks, and thanks to his partner’s post, many contacted Sath to offer him a place to stay. “After the tweet went viral, many people spoke to me with a room, but now I’m in the process and recovering from what happened. But I got a lot of offers. For now, the search for an apartment has stalled, so he continues at his parents’ house.

After the tweet went viral, Saad received several rental offers.
After the tweet went viral, Saad received several rental offers.Twitter: @Elenaacarrasco

He was also contacted by people who claimed to have had similar experiences of racism: “They told me they had the same problem in Almeria and they gave me a lot of support. When asked about rent, They ask for their nationality or retreat when they see their name or skin color”, he concluded.

I hope racism will end one day”, pointed out the user of the social network. “Parents are profoundly ignorant,” argued another. A third said confidently: “A few weeks ago, I reported an ad seeking European tenants onlyBut there is no full punishment in the area of ​​housing.”