by Parwana Amiri.
Our life has been put in hands that are playing with us, as if we were dolls.
Today, we are controlled by politicians’ hands, as if we were puppets .
When our country was, and still is, under war, we had to leave it — not for a better life but in order to just give the breathing right to our children .
When we start out from our countries, whose soil has the color of blood, a deep stamp seals our forehead. It reads: refugee. Struggling to wipe away that stamp, we may lose our dignity, our serenity, our honor and even the life of our families. When we put down our backpacks on any other land, there is no immediate shelter for us.
Refugee — what a hard word this is.
Today, we cease to be subjects. We become objects “for sale”! We are waste, and we are treated as garbage.
We lost our countries because of the direct interventions of those same countries that,now, are kicking us back.
Stop those interventions and you will no longer have to tolerate us and our children.
We tolerated bombs and guns. But we couldn’t tolerate witnessing the fire that was burning our children’s dreams. So we put all our life in a backpack and carried it in our backs.
When we leave our homes longing for shelter in another country, we wish to accept that new land as our own, look after it as our birthplace and respect its residents. Unfortunately, when we step onto any country, its people look at us and our children as wretched strangers, not looking for safety, but threatening their income, their jobs, their culture.
When they treat us as personal property and push us back from their countries, when they cannot get the price they demand to keep us, we have to pass thousands of kilometers holding our wife’s and children’s hands like migratory birds.
Will our children get tired?
Will we face the death of our children?
Will the dignity of our women, our daughters, our sisters, our mothers be lost in the exchange for safety.
We know all of these threats that menace us. Yet, there is no remedy, we must continue .
When the best choice becomes death or the security of eternal after-life, it means there is no hope and everything has ended.
Today we stand at a point of time that instead of the sound of school bells, our children’s ears are assaulted by the sounds of gunshots. And there is no path for us to retreat.
To safeguard our children’s right to life, we faced the sea and crossed the desert. Yet, no one wants to put themselves in our shoes .
It is not above our strength to face the angry sea without a life vest as long as our hopeful eyes can discern the shore that will deliver us from death to life. But our strength abandons us, despair envelops us when, getting close to the land, we see hundreds of angry eyes void of sympathy, mouths which cruelly shout at us
“Go back to your country.”
To kill us, in an instant, might be better than those words which are like knives turning in our heart. Who can imagine our pain, when our hopes to find a place in the sun, by crossing those borders, are crushed by those eyes on the shore which greet us as enemies, ready to unleash their violence on us.
What would be your pain if you watched your child faint attacked by teargas and chemical substances with you unable to find even a little water to give him?
How would you feel if you passed your nights, in the severest winter cold, without any blanket or warm clothes to protect you, while the police pass their nights in providence?
How would you feel if, after a trip of seven hours in a boat, you begged for help to get out, but you were met, instead, with angry shouts full of hate, yelling: ”
Go back from where you came! Enough is Enough!”
We escaped from death’s mouth.
We escaped from war.
We put our life in danger and came.
Can you put yourself in our shoes ?
Do you have this courage?
Courage is not to lash out at the homeless!
Courage is to put yourself in the place of those who are seeking their right around the world.
You separate yourself from us with borders.
What have we done to be separated from you?
Border means fence. Border separates.
Border means prison and being prisoner.
Border stands against nature, against the very miracle of our creation.
No one is illegal nowhere !
Freedom of movement is for all !
by Parwana Amiri