Friday, January 12, 2018

A Tale of Two Years

Year 2017 was wrapping up to leave its current place in the domain of time for Year 2018, before it left, Year 2017 had to communicate and convey some messages to Year 2018. Here is how the conversation went:
“Oh sis, it was so painful to see and witness what humans were doing to one another. It was painful to witness how old men in different parts of the world were chained to their seats of power; they didn’t want to give their place to another. Many of my other sisters witnessed the same old men who never wanted to let someone other than themselves rule and govern, especially in the continent of Africa. Can you believe it. For instance, in Angola, the man called De Santos ruled during the life of 40 of my older sisters, until they forced him to leave his place for his defense minister, not only that but in a country, not far from there called Zimbabwe, where one old man was glued to the seat of power during the life of 36 of my elder sisters. They witnessed his crumbling regime taking the country and the people of Zimbabwe down the drain. I’m the only one to see him be removed and forced out of that power seat. Similar case in Libya, Gambia and Senegal, during a guy called Abdullahi Wad.  Another guy in a country called Uganda wants to remain in power for life, like most of the African leaders, but the worst is in Eritrea. Where the ruler not only wanted to remain in power but also wants to dismantle the country, and for those who have a problem with that he built many and many prisons more than the number of schools and hospitals combined. His main goal is to kill and force the youth to flee the country making out of them the second largest refugee population seeking asylum in Europe after Syrians. A whole generation is being lost, either to war with neighbors, or forced labor or through imprisonment or through forcing them to flee out of the country to exile. Eritrean youth have no future in the country. When anyone finishes 11th grade they will be taken to the military base in Sawa to do the national undetermined forced labor. Once they reach to Sawa they discover the shocking reality. They discover that they were being robbed of their future, of their dreams, of their dignity and humanity in general. They discover that the regime wants only to destroy them as a way to destroy the country by depriving it from a whole generation. They discover that the system is being built in a very refined way to break their sprit and to make them give in to the new reality. They know what that means, so they start to either resist and end up in inhumane prisons that are built to de-humanize human beings or to flee across the border to either Sudan or Ethiopia and in the process, many lose their lives by getting shot by the security forces of the regime who are under order to shoot down any fleeing person. Some eventually make it across thinking that it is a safe haven but it is just the starting of a new phase of a different cycle in their long journey of torture and miseries. When they cross the border fleeing for their safety some fall in the hands of human traffickers which means that they become a commodity in the hands of the traffickers, they can sell them to other trafficking groups or they buy out their own freedom by paying a ransom amount of money or engaging their relatives to help paying the ransom.  The luckiest ones end up in refugee camps in either Sudan or Ethiopia from where another phase of their sad journey starts, knowing that they did not sacrificed their life by crossing the border just to be sitting down in refugee camps which don’t provide the minimum of anything they are just like concentration camps. They might wait for a few weeks before they start to hit the road for the Sahara Desert aiming towards Libya and for that they require a lot of logistical preparation but still some don’t make it, and for so many different reasons, either the car will break down or they run out of water or they get lost in the desert or they simply get stuck or for many other reasons. As for those who make it to Libya they need to start for the next phase of their journey by getting more logistical help from their relatives in Europe or somewhere else. During that time, some fall into the hands of the different rival armed groups and again they are exposed to human traffickers who want to sell them or simply try to make money out of them. Again, only some who are the luckiest ones will make it to the boats to start their journey across the Mediterranean Sea to Southern Europe during which some don’t make it for so many reasons either the boat would be very old or would be overcrowded or would get capsized because of other reasons. Many will not make it across to Europe, thousands every year and the number keeps growing. For those who make it to Europe, they have to deal with a new type of struggle, a struggle with resettling themselves in the new societies, it begins with so many new challenges. Challenge of language and communication, challenge of getting proper accommodation, challenge of weather and challenge of health especially overcoming the trauma of their long journey and whatever happen during. It is a real challenge to overcome the suffering and the agonies of their journey starting from Sawa to Europe. Everyone who went through that journey is a victim of some sort or lost something on it, either their life or part of their own self or their mind or arriving and crossing the sea but ending up being totally traumatized. No one is a winner in that journey the journey of terror, the journey of different phases and cycles of terror, they escape one to fall into other.

Oh, sis, it is sad to witness the suffering of those young men and women. I hope during your life time you will see the end of the one who is causing their pain and suffering.”