I am inspired by the idea that I can help someone. We don't have to be discouraged that we can't change the world. If we help at least one person, this will already be a huge step forward. My motto is: Instead of cursing the night, light a candle.
Annie: Hello, Drago! Thank you for accepting our invitation! Despite the relatively short time since you have been a part of FAR, you have managed to earn your colleagues and beneficiaries' great respect and trust. What is it like for you to work at FAR?
Dragomir: Firstly, it is a huge responsibility. At the same time, it is the work which brings me the most moral satisfaction. There is something particular about it, namely the fact that, as a lawyer, you are never in doubt whether you are on the right side.
Annie: Working with refugees requires a lot of voluntary work. It is a constant battle for human rights. Why did you decide to become a part of it?
Dragomir: There comes a time in everyone's life when they must make a choice and take a stand. My "joining the battle" was taking a clear stand on not only the conflict, but also the understanding about good and evil.
Annie: You've been working very hard on the cases of people fleeing the Russian Federation so that they can have access to international protection. Why is this such an important cause for you?
Dragomir: Unfortunately, Russian people taking a clear stand on the conflict do not receive support from the democratic world, of which Bulgaria is a part.
We are facing a paradox in which Bulgaria, as a European country with a very clear official position on the conflict, continues to persistently deny access to international protection to Russian citizens who disapprove of the existing regime and are against the war. We have a disconnect between what the state proclaims as a principle and what it does in action.
My work with the Russian citizens seeking international protection is also a fight for justice. It is a fight, above all, to show the rest of the world that there are Russians who are also fighting against Putin's regime.
Annie: Working with refugees is very exhausting because in most cases you meet people who are going through the most difficult period of their lives. How do you manage not to burn out and what gives you strength?
Dragomir: The job of the lawyer is similar to that of the doctor - you have to have the necessary empathy and humanity towards your patients, but also keep your composure when making decisions. My long-standing practice as a lawyer has taught me to distance myself from the psychological side, but it is especially difficult when it comes to working with refugees because we are dealing with personal tragedies.
The greatest support I get is from my family. I also have activities on the side which help me release the tension.
Annie: What are those activities?
Dragomir: Music, I'm into heavy rock, and I also like good books and movies.
I am also involved in journalism, I run a column at Darik-Radio Burgas - "The Lawyer's Interlocutor", I write articles regularly.
Annie: As a fellow bookworm, may I be tempted to ask about your favorite book?
Dragomir: It's hard to say, it's not easy to list them all. Steinbeck is one of my favorite authors. Mikhail Bulgakov and his "The Master and Margarita" too. Among Bulgarian authors - Anton Donchev, Nikolai Haytov, Dimitar Talev.
Annie: And your favorite movie?
Dragomir: So, at first reading - Mel Gibson's original films - ''Braveheart'', ''The Passion of the Christ'', ''Apocalypto''. I love inspirational films that make you reflect on them afterwards. "The Shawshank Redemption” is such a film, for example. I also like the Bulgarian historical cinema.
Annie: What inspires you?
Dragomir: The people I love, my country, art, music, good movies, and books. I am also inspired by the thought that I can help someone. We don't have to be discouraged that we can't change the world. If we help at least one person, this will already be a huge step forward. My motto is, "Instead of cursing the night, light a candle."
Annie: You mentioned your family a few times, could you tell us about them?
Dragomir: There are refugees in my family as well. This is one of the reasons why I so deeply feel the fate of people who have been displaced from their homes.
My father's family were refugees from Belomorian Thrace who were forced to flee to Bulgaria. My great-grandfather was a yatak, a partisan supporter, and participated in the battalions of Russi Slavov and Dimitar Majarov. He fought, weapon in hand, for the freedom of Belomorian Thrace. The fate of his family is dramatic, like that of many other refugees of that time. Bloody stories are still held in our ancestral memory.
Annie: And you yourself, where do you feel most at home?
Dragomir: In Bulgaria. I think we have a wonderful motherland. If each of us would do at least one thing to improve ourselves, Bulgaria would become a wonderful state.
Annie: What do you wish for?
Dragomir: I wish I had more time and money to pursue my hobbies and travel. I want to be able to help my country and be useful to my people. I dream that Bulgaria will take its rightful place among the European nations!