As I drag myself forward, I look up with tired eyes, and for the first time in so many hours, a spark of hope ignites within me. I see the fence, only a few meters ahead. Almost there. I hear the distant sound of what sounds like thunder, the smell of burnt rubber still hangs in the air,, the screams of children ring loudly in my ear. I don’t want to look back. I race toward the fence and hastily pull the fence apart as I make a hole big enough to crawl through. I get under the fence and with every ounce of energy left in my body, I pull myself to the other side. I feel warmth down my back, and touch blood. I’ve been scraped by the fence. The pain is searing hot, but it only motivates me to keep going. I turn back and help my family through. First my one year old son and then my wife. I hold up the fence as it digs into my flesh.
I see lights shining toward us from the other side of the fence, and I know that it’s only a matter of minutes before we are dragged back. I do not allow thoughts to enter my head, of what will happen to us if we are taken back.
I strive forward as I clutch onto my son, his little heart racing against my own chest, something in him seems to sense that we are fighting for survival, because he does not utter a sound, as if he knows not to cry.
I run away from my beautiful country and away from YOU, towards YOUR country to seek refuge. Even irony has a sense of humour.
REFUGEE: A person who has been forced to leave their country in order to escape war, persecution, or natural disaster.
REFUGEE: Does not mean “one fleeing his country and entering another country because he wants to, it’s because he HAS to.
Wake up world and smell the gunfire.
I seek shelter in your country, only because you have taken over mine. I ask for a place to stay, not because I enjoy living in a one bedroom apartment with two other families, it’s because I’ve been forcefully removed from my 4 bedroom home with a landscaped garden, which has been turned into a temporary military site. I ask for my children to be given a place in your schools, not because I want them to take over your jobs one day, but because I want them to take over their own country one day and to go back and rebuild what you have destroyed.
You ask me to leave your country, and I will,
AS SOON AS YOU LEAVE MINE.