Why Liverpool? I asked.
“What is Liverpool?”
I suspected that would be the answer even before I asked the question we usually ask for this blog. Nurul Amin simply doesn’t know Liverpool nor does he know much about other teams and players. However, he knows football and loves it.
Nurul Amin is a Rohingya refugee and that is as bad as being a Bosnian but hundred times worse. Escaping recent violence, he left his village in Rakhine state on a rickety boat for a super dangerous trip across the Andaman see toward Malaysia, a heaven-like place almost every Muslim in the northern Myanmar dreams about. Nurul Amin was strong and lucky enough to survive the trip (people die on these boats) but his vessel didn’t make it all way to Malaysia. It was stopped in Thailand and now Nurul Amin spends time at a shelter for women and children waiting to see what else the brutal life will unload on him.
There is not much he can do at the shelter except playing football with other kids. Good people donated some clothes and some toys, among them few balls and some jerseys. Nurul Amin got a Liverpool one. While he posed for a picture (proving that a professional pose and associated hair style is something you are born with) smaller kids wearing donated football shirts stood around. As if someone opened a matryoshka doll and different sizes of misery jumped out, all looking straight in my eyes.
The cutest among them, by far, was one little “Ibrahimovic” in AC Milan shirt that grabbed my leg and released it only to be photographed.