Four young Moroccans, welcomed in the attic of a school in Pamplona

Three Mohamed and one Ayoubm they have a pizza for dinner while playing poker or watching a football game on TV. Their tea with mint is served in small colored glass glasses typical of Morocco, her land. And when fatigue overcomes them, they lie down on their bunk beds overlooking the patio of the San Ignacio school (Jesuits) of Pamplona. They premiere in 2023 and no one would say that less than four months ago, on September 2, these four young Maghrebis risked their lives in the Mediterranean Sea. One closed summer night and on board a small boat, in which they left the money they did not have. But, as they explain, their God wanted them to travel safely the 429 kilometers that separate Oran (Algeria) from San José (Almería). And that after a pilgrimage through various cities in southern Spain (Huelva, Cádiz, Murcia…) they now live in the capital of Navarre. thanks to a reception program of the Society of Jesusthe call ‘Red Mambre’for which the San Ignacio school has enabled an attic area of ​​the building to prepare a flat (with living room, bedroom, kitchen and bathroom) and house these young people from the same city in Morocco (Oujdu, near the border with Algeria) for six months.

Mohamed Nouisser (28 years old), Mohamed Abadi (22), Mohamed El Filali (23) and Ayoubm Faical (23) appreciate the hospitality and they are now striving to learn Spanish and to find work.


The four migrants arrived in Pamplona in November and were living in the old Abandoned convent of the Agustinas de San Pedro (Txantrea) Y under a bridge over the river Argauntil those responsible for Information Point for Migrants (PIM) of the Pamplona City Council They were put in contact with the recently created ‘Red Mambré’, in which the San Ignacio College (Jesuits) is integrated. “Young men have it the hardest. Because the women who arrive with children are welcomed by the institutions”, says the person in charge of the Loyola Center and of this hospitality initiative, Ignacio Aranzadi. And so they launched the initiative. The director of the school, the Jesuit Carlos Morazajoins the conversation and explains how they enabled this attic area (where the free time youth community used to meet ‘arrupe’) in a house. “The entire educational community has been involved, providing support as volunteers or in another way (financial aid or collecting food in the last Christmas campaign)”, adds the director. Every night, there are two people (of a group of 54 men and women between the ages of 18 and 60) who sleep with them and accompany them in whatever they need.

The daily life of these Moroccans, registered at the Segundo Ensanche school, begins at 7:30 am, when they get up, wash up and have breakfast. By 8:30 a.m., they must be outside, since they attend Spanish classes given by the Spanish Commission for Aid to Refugees (CEAR). Every day at noon, they have lunch at the Paris 365 soup kitchen, in the Casco Viejo, and they spend the afternoon in that environment or walking around Pamplona. Around 7:30 p.m. / 8:00 p.m., they return to the flat at the school and already share their time with the volunteers. “We have played poker and now I am going to teach you how to play mus. We also talk or watch football matches. They have really enjoyed the World Cup”, sums up José Manuel Martínez Ilundáin, a 49-year-old from Pamplona, ​​a network volunteer and a Mathematics teacher at the school.


The four Moroccans agree that they wanted to escape from their country because it was “impossible to survive.” They all made a poor living from their trades: salesperson in a carpet store (Ayoubm Faical), Barber (Mohamed Nouisser), who are cousins ​​to each other; heating and air conditioning technician (Mohamed Nouisser) and carpenter (Mohamed el Filali). “We were very scared in the boat. But God wanted us to survive to get here and be able to work. I am happy in Pamplona and I want to live here until I die”, affirms Mohamed Abadi, 22 years old emphatically. “Our families? Yes, they were very afraid that we would not survive the trip. Now they are very calm”, adds his countryman Mohamed Nouisser, who is taking courses to be able to work as a refrigeration technician.

And why Spain? “There is work here and we have some relatives in Oviedo and Vitoria,” the cousins ​​say. After Christmas, they still do not know if they will continue with the Spanish classes at the José María Iribarren adult training center (Hermitage) or in the Lantxotegu associationi (centre Iwer de la Rochapea, old Matesa). But, for now, they are having a sweet Christmas (even if they don’t celebrate it) eating nougat, marzipan and shortbread on the floor, which they call ‘Dar Salam’, which in Arabic means ‘home and safe space’. As the objective pursued by the ‘Red Mambre‘: accompany and welcome the excluded.

Four young Moroccans, welcomed in the attic of a school in Pamplona