Kasia Braiter, our editor in chief, talks to Mariusz Markiewicz, a lawyer from the Catholic University of Lublin and owner of a work agency, traveler, lover of good cuisine and a good man.
I wanted to do a short interview with you, learn about your passions, travels and work with foreigners. It would fit in very well with the policy of our newspaper. Unfortunately, times have changed and the concept of the interview had to change as well. We live in a new world that you have entered wonderfully into. Therefore, the concept of the interview remained, but the topic is unfortunately different.
Mariusz, what has given you almost sleepless from the first day of the war in Ukraine organizing multiple help for Ukrainian citizens?
I got to know Ukraine in 2005, also in a turning point for the country. After the Orange Revolution, this was the first time I really found my way to a country that I fell in love with. There I met wonderful people with whom I am in touch every day and I just try to help as best I can
I know that you work with Ukrainian citizens, so you know them very well. You know the good and not so good sides that each of us has. And still help?
Now we put everything aside, both the good and the bad. For the past week, Ukrainians have shown the world their determination in the fight for freedom. It is a great and heroic nation
You have organized a help center in your hotel in Raszyn (close to Warsaw). You are looking for housing, you collect the necessary things. Action all the time. How long will you have enough strength?
I do not think about how much strength I have. When I feel tired, I think about all the people who are defending themselves in Kijow who need our help. I think about them and what they are going through right now
You know Ukraine very well. What are your hopes for an end to this war?
I hope for a quick end to the war and for Ukraine to win. President Zelenskiy is able to defend his country effectively with his attitude and thanks to the help of the West he can win this war
Poles still show great solidarity with Ukraine. They rush to help. Where do you think this comes from?
Certainly because you have to help everyone in need and Ukraine is in need. People die and lose their homes, all their belongings. No good person can see this tragedy indifferently. We, Poles, went through a lot of bad experiences, we were also helped. A heart is – simply – what is needed. And we, Poles, have beautiful hearts, which we are showing now. Also foreigners living in Poland are trying to help. Within days, we will receive material aid from various embassies to pass it on. In this situation, anyone who can help.
How do you think this open Polish heart will change us for the better as a result of this human suffering?
Poles always unite around tragedy. I hope it will change us for the better.
What else would you like to tell your Ukrainian friends?
I talk to my friends on the phone every day. They know that I am with them and tell me not to come back to the war because I can help them more from Poland. I think about them every day. Ukrainians are great and courageous and have the historical leadership of President Zelensky. I hope someday I’ll have a chance to meet him.