Aqeel, Gergana’s husband, finally received his Bulgarian residence permit

Гергана и Акил - лична карта
Gergana’s family with Aqeel’s first ever Bulgarian ID card (residence permit).

See also (in Bulgarian only, sorry):

And an article in English:

There is no greater happiness for us than when our clients friends get the right to live a normal life in Bulgaria. Gergana and Aqeel didn’t have such privilege for almost 5 years! Almost 5 years – lawsuits and worries! To prove to our country, to the Bulgarian bureaucracy, that the laws must be respected. Finally – we won!

The winners are Gergana and her wonderful family

Frankly speaking however, we are not the winners. The winners are Gergana, Aqeel and their beautiful boy. Because all this time when we defended them, we had a normal life. We could work, travel, rest, walk the streets in peace. Aqeel had no such rights. Nor his wife and their child. Did they deserve that? Is it their fault that some people have written some dragon laws that any official can interpret as he wishes. And to ruin their lives!

If Aqeel had married a Portuguese woman, for example, he would have long ago received citizenship. Not residence permit, but citizenship – a Portuguese passport. Luckily in Portugal, and nowhere else, there are no girls as our Gergana! But in Bulgaria we are more Catholic than the Pope – the whole state machine is against a father of a Bulgarian child, a husband of Bulgarian wife. The state machine will do everything in its power to deprive him of basic rights. And what rights do we talk about? To work and pay taxes. And yes, not to be arrested by the police when walking in the park.

Our girls

We would like to express special gratitude to Neli Minkova and Petia Petrova-Kazakova. In the end, they managed, with legal arguments, to prove Aqeel’s point in the Court.

Our award

Our reward is Gergana’s family happiness. To know that one cute first grader will be able to walk to school with his father later this year – freely. Our reward is Gergana’s letter to us, which we publish below. It says everything.

Gergana’s letter:

I would like to thank my lawyers first of all for being great professionals with big hearts. They accepted my family and our problems as their own, stood firmly behind us and defended us from the thousands of dishonest attacks against us aimed at dividing our family.

For years we lived in fear, threats of injustice and uncertainty about tomorrow. Every day I prayed that one day I would wake up and it would be over or that it wouldn’t have happened. I was accused by our institutions that I had chosen this life and convinced that our place was not here (in Bulgaria). Many times we have lost our strength, but our lawyers have made sure that we have faith. To believe that sooner or later the law will overcome injustice. Our dream was to live freely and without fear. Yes, we can make plans for the future. I am grateful that fate was on our side and met us with them, because we know that without them this battle would have been lost long ago. They fought to the end, did the impossible, and for us a miracle. Yes, so far our lives have been a great struggle, a struggle to save our family.

We could not rejoice in the days darkened by the constant fear of being separated. After another victory in court, we finally received a residence permit and we still can’t believe that the grief is over. We are now normal people with rights like everyone else, and we have the right to live in peace without fear. It seems so incredible to us that I wonder how we will live without constant fear… For years this has been our daily fear, fear, fear. This calm that I feel now cannot be compared to anything else. You go to bed and you know that tomorrow there will be no order to take you out of the country and ruin your life and family.

Thank God that there are lawyers like ours who accept the pain and problems of their clients as their own. They are fighting to the end for justice and nothing can bend them. With attention, experience, a lot of knowledge and effort they fought for us. They made us believe that no matter how difficult it was, we would eventually succeed and justice would prevail. And this long-awaited moment has come. We succeeded, they succeeded! They succeeded for us! Mother, father, child-family! Whatever I write about them will be small, I worship them!

What follows from now on

In a few months, we will be applying for a permanent residence permit for Aqeel. We are far from the illusion that the migration office will let go “without a fight”. But this is not so important anymore. We will win again! Because the law and the beauty and the love and the justice are all on our side. And together, they will always win.

Alexander Dobrinov

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