On Peace: A letter to Australia

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copyright WTF.

On Peace: A letter to Australia

I didn’t run from my country to come and destroy yours.
I came here to join you.
Because we both want the same “peace”
I have chosen to run
so they don’t push me
use me for their criminal plans..

I didn’t want to be victim to their goals
I am here to be united with everyone who is seeking peace

so we can be more numbers than them.
All we want is a world full of joy and peace.

That is not gonna happen if you don’t start believing in me.
I have made that choice

I came here without knowing if you will believe me or not
If you will trust me or not.
No matter what the results are

I will not regret that I have chosen to come here.

I will not regret

I have chosen peace.

 

  • written by I.

Hodan Macanto

This week we are featuring work by Macanto Hodan : Sisters of Hodan.  This group of women are also members of Writing Through Fences.

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  • Friend and boat mate of Hodan’s

 

HODAN CAADY

My dear Hodan caady

I’m thinking of you macnto

one day your life will turn around

your silence will make a sound

you will breathe fresh air

and you will speak loud

sing and roar louder than a lion

and those who imprisoned you will realize

they can no longer dumb your voice.

  • Hani Abdile

 

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FALCON

Falcon my friend i need your help, please fly,
fly up high, above the ocean, and give my message 💌 to Hodan,
You seek no permission,
You need no ID
You are well protected,
You won’t be harmed,
Carry my 💌 and fly,
Fly up high above Dutton,
We are grieving do not greet him he’s greedy,

🇭🇴🇩🇦🇳 💌🌷

Whisper on her ear and say,
Macanto we love you,
Macanto we need you here,
Macanto don’t leave,
Macanto we care,
Macanto we are here ,
Macanto you’re never alone
Macanto we hear you,
Macanto you’re brave,
Macanto you’re strong,
Macanto you’re amazing,
Macanto you’re beautiful,
Macanto Angels are watching,
Macanto God will heal you,
Macanto can you hear me ?
Macanto i gotta leave before the nurse comes,
May God be with you….
By Maria


 

ART WORK BY I.

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FOR HODAN FROM MANUS

‘Hodan bad’weynta burahaan daraada baafin ka dayaaye ,
hadiyaanan bari arag beerka iyo wadnaha iyo qalbiga basaaso baryi waayey awga. Baaqenu wuxu yahey Hodan qurux wanaagey Hodan taan jecleenen barito bogsan.
-M.

The following English translation is a rough summary.

The ocean and the mountains could save your heart and keep you alive but Australia couldn’t. Your heart will recover because you are beautiful, Hodan.


 

 

 

 

 

What Remains: Art and words from and for Nauru

We invite people on Nauru and on Manus to send their words and art at this very sad time. We hold onto love and each other through creation.  You can send your work to Janet Galbraith on Facebook or send us a message here.

Mabsud roses for hodan

 

20 May 2016

By a member who is a friend of Hodan’s.

Hodan Macanto.

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11 May 2015

…..THANKS FOR YOUR HUMANITY ..

The life you have given to me. .
The way you are using with me
And the people who abusing to me

…..THANKS FOR YOUR HUMANITY ..

I didn’t see before this kind of situation
I never thought I will be in bad condition
Taliban was better than u of my nation

…..THANKS FOR YOUR HUMANITY ..

You don’t see I am slowly slowly die
Every day I am listening from you lie
But no one thinking we are doing why?

…..THANKS FOR YOUR HUMANITY ..

You have made for us one graveyard
You are thinking you will win a award
But still you not scaring of mighty Lord

…..THANKS FOR YOUR HUMANITY ..

How many more you want death of us
You can’t feel the horrible breath of us
Why you need to stop smiling and happiness of us.

…..THANKS FOR YOUR HUMANITY ..
What did you do what are you doing and what you will get …
…..THANKS FOR YOUR HUMANITY ..
At least …..THANKS FOR YOUR HUMANITY ..

 – Jajee Khan, Fly Camp, Nauru
 +++++++++

Hodan bad’weynta burahaan daraada baafin ka dayaaye ,

hadiyaanan bari arag beerka iyo wadnaha iyo qalbiga basaaso baryi waayey awga .

Baaqenu wuxu yahey Hodan qurux wanaagey Hodan taan jecleenen barito bogsan.

The following English translation is a rough summary.

The ocean and the mountains could save your heart and keep you alive but Australia couldn’t.  Your heart will recover because you are beautiful, Hodan.

  • Mabsud

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Dear Hodan our darling sister,

We are sorry we are not there to hold your hand and weep tears.
We all need to remember that life will never be smooth. Through the journey there is a lot of obstacles. Seeking protection for yourself is not a crime and we are sorry you felt that way many nights. We are sorry for the pain you are going through.
We are sorry that they think you are just a number in their sight
We are sorry our homeland is not where we can be safe. We are sorry that we cannot bring you into our new home and save you from depression and anxiety.
We hope a day will come when you will get the safety and the humanity that you deserve.
All our love is with you dear sister.
Macanto Hodan: Sisters of Hodan.
(H,A,M,Y,I,S,K,J)

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SOME WORDS FOR OMID AND HODAN FROM THE MEN IN FLY CAMP, NAURU

I want to share some words to my friend who has passed away and my sister who is in the hospital but still in the critical situation.

I have lost my real hope now when I think about my friend Omid.  I think of how he is not here anymore then I get saddened.  When I see the other side then I feel my sister’s pain. I too am covered from all of painful life here. Omid had a hope and came to Australia for a bright future.  He is now alive in my heart .

Hodan set fire on herself in front of R.P.C 1.  Our friend saw her.  They said she sit a bit far away from us.  She was very silent.  She didn’t swearing and didn’t abuse.   We all are watching her.  She is a very kind girl but suddenly she put petrol on herself.   We talked with our friends: ‘See this girl, Hodan, here is raining and she putting water on herself .  Suddenly my friend saw and said other friend this not water because water colour is white but why that liquid colour is yellow?  But at that time she used the lighter and fired herself.  The fire was very terrible and suddenly light comes in the night.  One friend been to R.P.C 1 ‘Help us help us’, but they came late.  Fire took four minutes.

Ooooo my GOD have u forgotten us?  Are we human being?  If we are why we’re suffering here? Please MY  GOD  solve us our problem.   We can’t more endure.  We have lost everything.  We’re in the bad condition.   Have u left us?  Please show your power to all world. You can do anything.

I’m crying and writing this story for my sister Hodan .  Sister you will see you will get healthy and you will be survive.   Don’t give up.  Our prayers with you.

-Fly Camp

+++++++++++

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My heart is racing faster than ever, my mind is running miles and miles in a sec, Somebody comfort me, somebody tell me she’s going to be ok,

Somebody tell me she’s in a safe hands,
Somebody tell me she Will survive from this nasty burns, somebody hear me,
Somebody heal my desperate broken soul! By Maria ‪#‎Survive‬ ‪#‎Hodan‬

  • Maria

+++++++++++

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My beautiful friend we been through a lot together and i remember sitting with you near the fences when no one else was awake, now I’m sitting here alone crying out loud thinking no one can hear me and wishing the news i heard wasn’t true! Survive my sister i can’t loose you, i need you here in my arms around you, please survive.

I’m watching over asking God not to take you away from us please survive my sister!

  • Maria

++++++++++++

from F.

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+++++++++++

“Farewell”

for Omid

Goodnight my friend

This agony will never mend

You couldn’t withstand anymore

Couldn’t survive this burning tor

Hope you’re resting in peace

And your soul has no more grief

I saw how quiet you slept

I dunno how many tears are left

Farewell,

farewell my friend

My pain,

my pain will never end

I wish this was all in jest

but something has broken

in my chest

You’ll never wake up again

Not even with the sound of rain

So sleep in your dark grave

I’ll see you in another place

Where only the dead are living

Where no one has any feeling

I can’t explain my pain with words

Can’t say how much I hate this world

Farewell,

farewell my friend

My pain,

my pain will never end

I wish this was all in jest

Something has broken

in my chest

Oh,There’s no helper in the world

Not even the one they call Lord

I’m so numb from this burning cold

So,

goodnight my friend,

Goodnight till end of my time

@ErNa_Revenant

++++++++

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A  MESSAGE FROM MANUS FROM AZIZ

To all my gorgeous friends in Nauru girls and women please no more self harm enough i know its hard and unbearable but remember your goal when you decided to fled your homeland because of war, persecution, and etc harming ourselves is not solution for our problem it make it worse.
remember your beautiful family and friends you left them behind they love you and care about you as well.

”Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you.” – 

Light cannot be seen if there is no darkness, success cannot be achieved without sacrifice, and a diamond cannot shine unless it has been cut and polished. What I’m trying to say is that, success, happiness, and contentment will only follow you once you have had your share of difficulties. And you know what’s that one encouraging thought about these difficult situations in life? That happiness is just around the corner.

we are together in same basket and we should encourage each other, this is a game to win the game is very easy just throw everything behind focus and be patient, we know they have no mercy at all but let us not give them any chance to achieve their goals, I’m trying to say is that we are very close very close get ready to welcome your new life.

love and courage to all my beautiful friends behind the fences.
Aziz, from Pacific Island.

+++++++++++

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painting by Nisar Ali – Fly Camp, Nauru

In search of life, I have came so close to death.

In search of life, I have came so close to death.

When I thought of this I got nervous.

Where have I come?

In search of life, I have came so close to death.

I was going on a journey which had no destination.

What I did all my life what I tried but I was not successful

I was in the search of one happiness, how many sorrows have tortured me

When I thought about it, I got scared.

Where have I ended up?

Think how helpless I was, I did what I should have.

When I looked back a bit, I was scared of my own condition.

When I looked about my self I was ashamed of myself

In search of life,I have came so close to death.

  • M.H

+++++++++

art work by Mahmoud S Salameh

art work by Mahmoud S Salameh

Your songs

for Reza, Hamid, Omid, with hope for Hodan

You just leave, you are gone
When the dark day will finish
When the sun rising again
When the mouths open to breath
We will sings your songs
You just leave
You are gone.

N. (Manus)

+++++++++

Painting from Nisar

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fence

painting ‘for Nauru’ by Iqbal

PLEASE DON’T BURN YOUR BEAUTIFUL BODY

“Please dont hurt yourself. Please don’t burn your beautiful body. The world needs you and be sure that this nightmare will finish one day.

I, as a brother ask you not to hurt yourself. Our family is tired we can not endure watching you when you are hurting yourself. Please don’t hurt yourself”.

Behrouz Boochani has asked that RAPBS post and share his message to his brothers and sister in our black site on Nauru.

“I am writing this short message from Manus to you as a brother who is, like you, experiencing the hardest days. I am writing for you as I cry from the same pain and the same suffering that only we can deeply know and understand. We lost our friends in our ways and those happenings were because of the death of humanity and justice. We lost our friends because many of the Australian people are watching our suffering in silence.

When one of us dies or harms ourself the Australian politicians are happy because they want to send out a violent message with our body to the world. They want to say ‘don’t come to Australia we have no mercy and will kill you in our prisons’. We know that this gov really wants us to kill ourselves. It is clear because they put us in these hells.

Imagine our islands are like two sisters and we are all members of a suffering family. We are a family who is fighting for our lives. These days your brothers in Manus are crying for you and are in sympathy with you. We never forget you and this message is coming from our heart.

Please dont hurt yourself. Please don’t burn your beautiful body. The world needs you and be sure that this nightmare will finish one day.

I, as a brother ask you not to hurt yourself. Our family is tired we can not endure watching you when you are hurting yourself. Please don’t hurt yourself. We are a big family with the strongest sisters and brothers. We are not alone. We are a big family. Please dont hurt yourself”.

  • Behrouz Boochani (Manus)

++++++++

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FALCON

Falcon my friend i need your help, please fly,
fly up high, above the ocean, and give my message 💌 to Hodan,
You seek no permission,
You need no ID
You are well protected,
You won’t be harmed,
Carry my 💌 and fly,
Fly up high above Dutton,
We are grieving do not greet him he’s greedy,
🇭🇴🇩🇦🇳 💌🌷
Whisper on her ear and say,
Macanto we love you,
Macanto we need you here,
Macanto don’t leave,
Macanto we care,
Macanto we are here ,
Macanto you’re never alone
Macanto we hear you,
Macanto you’re brave,
Macanto you’re strong,
Macanto you’re amazing,
Macanto you’re beautiful,
Macanto Angels are watching,
Macanto God will heal you,
Macanto can you hear me ?
Macanto i gotta leave before the nurse comes,
May God be with you….

By Maria 

++++++++

The following is written by Mabsud, a Somali man on Manus.  It is written as song lyrics.

Mabsud roses for hodan

Hodan bad’weynta burahaan daraada baafin ka dayaaye ,

hadiyaanan bari arag beerka iyo wadnaha iyo qalbiga basaaso baryi waayey awga .

Baaqenu wuxu yahey Hodan qurux wanaagey Hodan taan jecleenen barito bogsan.

 

The following English translation is a rough summary.

The ocean and the mountains could save your heart and keep you alive but Australia couldn’t.  Your heart will recover because you are beautiful, Hodan.

 

We’re Puppets : Poem from Nauru

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“We’re Puppets”

 

In a black cold night

Tears falling

The CORD has been tied

Conquered feeling

I’ve nothing to lose

Soul has rusted

There’s no way to choose

I’m a PUPPET

I’ve got a hatred master

He’s a BEAST

The lord of POLITICS’ theater

Prisoner of KIDS

But on this black cold night

Everything will end

The cord has been tied

Escape from hell

I am not afraid

I am already dead.

 

  • A.  from Australia’s black site on Nauru
  • art work by Eaten Fish

Welcome to you and God bless you

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Sunday 2016 – Manus Island

I would like to tell you about my visit to church. I went church for the first time in my life. It was a great visit. One of my Irani friends told me about it.

‘Let’s go for church,’ he said.

I said, ‘I am Muslim. I am not on the list’.

He said to me, ‘Doesn’t matter that you are not on the list. I will tell them’.

He is my friend.

We went to the church by bus. The church program had started when we reached there. The Transfield (Broadspectrum) gave us two kina to give a donation to the church. There were religious songs. The priest said welcome to the refugees. They met with us. The local people were very happy to see us. They had a very good response. At the end of the program, the priest priest shook hands with us.

The priest told us, ‘I saw you for the first time. Welcome to you and God bless you’. I said, ‘Thank you. God bless you too’.

There were a lot of local children and women in the church. I really like the children. We shake hands with the children and local people. They have very good response. The Transfield gave us two tickets water bottle. We distributed these to the local people. It was fun in my life.

Thanks for everyone to support and respect us.

I had a very good experience.

– Spogami

‘Violence against women is one of the great shames of Australia’ – PM Turnbull 2015

‘Violence against women is one of the great shames of Australia’ – PM Turnbull

arezo final image women day 2016

drawing by Janet Galbraith

11pm, 11th December 2015, OPC 3, Australia’s black site, Nauru

Take off your clothes.
I have nothing to hide
I carry only my identity card –
letters and number you have gifted
my hand, my psyche, the ever diminishing pulse
of my heart.
Open your legs
Do I exist only as cavities?
Take off your clothes.
Am I a criminal?
Take off your clothes.
I am a piece of meat.
Afraid, I am crying
I am shouting.
They laugh
They mock
Ridicule.
Take off your clothes
‘Violence against women is one of the great shames of Australia’*.
Open your legs, your hands.
‘It is a national disgrace*’.
A female guard steps forward
Forces open my legs, my hands.
Another guard pushes the wand between my legs, lingers there.
Take off your t-shirt and bra
Leering, they laugh
I lift.
Take off all your clothes.
I hold tight
A male guard closes the door.
My ID is in the woman’s hands.
I push through the men.
Push through the door.
Leave.
As I have been leaving for so long.

– Arezo and Janet Galbraith

* words from PM Malcolm Turnbull in the public domain

Arezo

11pm, 11th December 2015, OPC 3, Australia’s black site, Nauru

Take off your clothes.
I have nothing to hide
I carry only my identity card –
letters and number you have gifted
my hand, my psyche, the ever diminishing pulse
of my heart.
Open your legs
Do I exist only as cavities?
Take off your clothes.
Am I a criminal?
Take off your clothes.
I am a piece of meat.
Afraid, I am crying
I am shouting.
They laugh
They mock
Ridicule.
Take off your clothes
‘Violence against women is one of the great shames of Australia’.
Open your legs, your hands.
‘It is a national disgrace’.
A female guard steps forward
Forces open my legs, my hands.
Another guard pushes the wand between my legs, lingers there.
Take off your t-shirt and bra
Leering, they laugh
I lift.
Take off all your clothes.
I hold tight
A male guard closes the door.
My ID is in the woman’s hands.
I push through the men.
Push through the door.
Leave.
As I have been leaving for so long.

– Arezo and Janet Galbraith

Aziz

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photo by Anne Galbraith

FROM WEST DARFUR TO MANUS ISLAND

Sudan – West Darfur

My name is A.  I am from Sudan. Especially from West Darfur, place called Eftina.

I’m from minority Islam group in Darfur called Zaghawa. We are the only Islam group that the government targeted us.  They persecute us in all corners of Sudan.

It comes a time when the Janjawed (Janjaweed are the militant groups supported by the government)  their aim is to erase all the other blood african islam groups living in that region and their aim is to kill and to rape and to steal all the livestock and land and to chase us away from where they are.  We have been having – me and my family – we have been one of the people who fall in those problems first time.

I have lost my elder brother, his name is Mosef. He was the elder around 26-27. He has been killed by Janjaweed militant.

Fleeing : Struggle day and night

The rest of us fled Sudan and we went to Chad which is close and is a border between Sudan.  We went there and sought asylum from Chad. They sent us to a refugee compound called ‘Farshanah’ which is about approximately 2-300 kms from where we are from.

We spend there about 5 or 6 years in that place. A very very horrible time in my life.

The place is not safe and there is a shortage of everything: shelter, food, security and stability inside the compound. And as you know the place has been run by the two main organisations WFP and Red Cross.  Also we have a UNHCR.  They duty of the WFP is to provide food and shelter for us.  Red Cross, health.  And we have a French organisation called Drs Without Borders.

I spent 5 years in that place which is like spending 50 years of my life in that place.

I used to struggle day and night, just to do two things. One – to feed my family. Two – to keep my family and myself safe.

During that time every single day an abduction would take place around the compound. And that abdication is from the Sudanese police that they flew in from Sudan to Chad.  And they used to come around that compound just to abduct the young men like me and recruit them forcibly to work with them.

You have only one choice. Either you accept to be recruited forcibly, or you will be hiding, or you will flee the place where you are.

All the men that I know, they recruit them forcibly and if you refuse they will kill you.  They will take you far away from your family and they will kill you and nobody will know where you are. If they don’t kill you they will use you as a slave to work for them to do something which is really like unacceptable job such as they kill people and then they force you to dig the ground to bury those people.

They go and they steal the goods of some people and they force you to carry those goods in your head and walk around.  They go and take away all the livelihood – livestock of people and then they force you to look after the livestock.  You have no right to complain and if you refuse your prize is one bullet in your head and you are gone.

Everywhere gunshot: Family pray for safety

After all those years I used to go outside to the markets and I know what when I leave the compound I know that sometime I will not come back to see my family again because there is a real lack of security in that place.   Every corner of the market you can hear a gunshot. Everywhere you go you can hear gunshots. So it makes you feel that if you leave the place I will never come back to my family again. So that is what I used to do every day before I leave the place to go to market to find food to feed my family I would tell them to please pray for me to come back and they always praying for me. So I go there. I walked for 12 hours sometimes 14 hours just to get food for our daily meals – lunch and dinner. I could not afford to pay for breakfast for my family. This is the way I kept my family for 5 years in that place.  Until today when I decided to leave that place.

Leaving

I had been planning to leave for many many years. Chadian government refused to give us any documents and refused to provide any security for us. They are always saying in the media that they are providing safety and security and stability for these people but all this was really a lie.

They say look we can help you to go to Indonesia but we don’t know what will happen to you.  I said ‘No problem I am happy to go to Indonesia’.  They made me fake passport, fake travel documents and they arrange everything for me. It was not even really clear. It was all fake.  And I came to Indonesia, to Jakarta.

Genocide in Darfur forces us to leave

As you know everyone knows what is happening in Darfur especially between 2001 and 2013.  There was a massive genocide in 2005 which leave up to 25000 – 26000 Sudanese from Islamist groups lost their lives. This is the only reason that forced all the young people like me to flee their country, their homelands.  They went all the way to different countries and some lost their lives on their way to seek asylum from any part of the world.

Zhagawa

So the reason that this affect most of us aside from the genocide is that we Zhagawa have been marginalised and not accepted in the Sudanese community.  It doesn’t matter what sort of qualification you have or where you reach in terms of education at the end of the day they discriminate against you because you are from the West part of Sudan.

If you say you are from West part of Sudan – like if you say something like you’re abusing them or you say something funny. Everyone will start looking at you and laughing at you like you are a strange person like you are not a real Sudanese.  So there are a lot of things that are happening right through to today especially for the young people. And so if you are from West part of Sudan you have only one option. You must join the army or police and you go and kill your own people. If you refuse probably you will be killed. If you say yes – you have to go and do that.  Many many people took the risk.  The majority were killed and those left …  whenever they got the chance they escape.

Indonesia and relationship with Sudan

After I came to Indonesia – I spent 3 months in Indonesia.  I came to Indonesia on 14th of July. That is the date we arrived 14 of July 2013. I spent 3 months in Indonesia and I tried 3 times to cross the ocean because I have no chance and my desire was to stay in Indonesia but unfortunately Sudan government and Indonesia have very very close relationship which leads to the Indonesian government to authorise the Sudan government to send their own intelligence to monitor the young Sudanese who have left the country and are seeking asylum from Indonesia and around the world.

In Indonesia for us, the Sudanese, we are not allowed to walk around like other nationalities. We used to be hidden in places like Bogor so we hide in a villa.  During all the day we cannot leave the rooms until night time when we buy things we need like our mess [food] and it is really terrible times that I seen in my life. When I was in Darfur I saw so much and took a lot of risk and go through terrible times but in Indonesia is the only time I got scared because you are not going to die. If you are scared that you are going to die it is good but you are not going to die.

Fighting with the waves #1

Chance that I have.  I said look I have to try.  Even though it might cost me my life I have to try because I have no other chance. So I have to fight with the waves. If I made it good, and if I lost my life in the sea I will be food for the fish instead of just taking me back again to Sudan and torturing me in Sudan and doing a lot of shitty stuff on me in Sudan.  So the first time I took the risk we spend more than 48 hours in the boat.

You are not going to die there because of the torturing.  What made me afraid there in Indonesia was the torturing. You know we have one of the worst torturing of our intelligence in Sudan. When they capture you they torture you and they do a lot of shitty stuff that will always drive you crazy completely.  Even though you didn’t do anything you have to admit that you did just to stop the torture.  The first time I tried to cross the ocean – because I’ve got no chance. I have not chance either to go back or to stay in Indonesia. I have only one chance.  More than 48 hours in the boat.

So we moved from Indonesia. I can’t remember where in Indonesia we moved from. At night time the smugglers came to us at midnight and said: ‘Hey guys get up and pack your stuff’ and he said ‘you guys are not allowed even to take any stuff just only the clothes you wearing and put on your shoes and get in the car’. So we did what he told us. We came to a place even I can’t remember the name…. it was midnight.  I can’t see anything. Just I see some Indonesian men started helping us. They put us in a small boat.  I asked why that small boat and they said ‘Look there’s another big boat or ship down there so you have to get on this small boat and it will take you all the way to the ship’.

As I haven’t seen the ship I said ok. So I agreed to go. After we got in that boat they took us to another bigger boat – a fishing boat and it was bigger. We jump on that boat.  It was night time so no one realise the boat was broken from everywhere. So we just say ok. We asked the guy are you sure that this is going to take us.  And they guy said ‘yes its going to take you there so don’t be afraid’.  We start from there about 5am in the morning.

From there we just keep moving until – the only thing i remember from that day is I asked the crew: ‘So how far are we’.  He told us that ‘we are very close to the international sea – about 200 kms from Christmas Island.  Suddenly we realised that this boat cannot take us to Christmas Island. We were stuck in the middle of the oceans with no way behind us and nothing there. The only thing that I could see around me was just the sea everywhere.

We stopped the boat there and the crew talked to us and said ‘hey guys this boat cannot take us up to Christmas Island so what should we do? Can we go back to Indonesia  or we just keep going’.  So we had no options.  We say if this boat cannot take us to Christmas Island no way we can risk our life. We already risked our life.  So we have to look for an alternative solution. The alternative solution that we were looking at is that we all agreed that we have to go back to Indonesia.

From there we were coming back to Indonesia, suddenly the boat – the middle of the boat – you know one piece of wood is just came out and suddenly we realised there was a big hole so all the salty water started coming up on the boat. We just by ourself. We had nothing there. We were just by ourself so we took off all our tshirts and we put them in that hole to stop the water and from there we drove to the Indonesian coast. So it took us about a day or a day and a half.

46 of us straight into the water

We went to one island, i don’t know the name of the island, but it was really like the island was between two mountains on each side. We arrived there about 3 o’clock and we could see the light, the light of the houses of Indonesia and suddenly we came very close to the shore and the wave came and hit the boat and the boat turned over on one side and everyone went straight to the water.  At that time only we were 56 guys and 46 of us went straight into the water and only 10 or 15 guys they just went on.

They were trying to take out all the guys who fell into the water but there was no way we could help them so what we did was trying to help ourself to get out of that place.  At the same time at that place – we were 56 and we just lost 6 of our friends.  They just gone. We have’t even see their dead body.

I was the only guy there and remained there for 10 or 15 hours because I have no place to go and nobody know and I don’t know anyone or have any phone number to call. Most of them got out of the water and they just ran into the jungle and I just remained there.

Half of my day was with no money to buy food, no water, nothing.  Suddenly some of the villagers they called the police and the police came and when the police came – you know its good that they speak English because I do speak English and I started speaking to them.

Return to Indonesia: no guarantee of safety

They asked a lot of questions.  The first thing they say is they have to take me to the police station.  They took me to the police station. After that they started interrogating with me.  They asked me how many people were in the boat. All i could remember was only 58 people.

After the interrogations.  I spent 3 hours with the police in the police station there.  And after that they made contact to an IOM office in Jakarta and from there they put me in a mini-bus and sent me to Jakarta. So when I arrived in Jakarta and I had been welcomed by IOM officers there and they provided me with a few things: like shelter and they asked me if I am able to speak English they want to do an interview with me.

On the second day I told them that ‘Look, guys I ended up in here and I don’t know anyone or anything about this place. And they asked me why I didn’t want to stay in Indonesia and I explained to them all the reasons and they said well we cannot guarantee you that you can stay safely here in Indonesia.

So when I heard that from them I said ‘what do you mean you can’t guarantee to me?’ and finally he just clarified that ‘Look , your government has got a strong connection with the Indonesian government so anytime anywhere they can just come and take people from here and send them back.

So I was panicked when I heard that from them and I – so from there I was thinking what should I do to get out of that place.  So finally I find a way to get out of that place.  All my story – I have tried 3 times just to cross the ocean.  And I know the risk of the ocean , I know all about it but I haven’t got any option.  So the only option I have got is that I have to fight with the wave that is in front of me.

My last journey to Christmas Island

On my last journey, on the way to Christmas Island we have seen a boat that carrying about 100 or less than 100 people – women, kids and adult people and families in that boat.  And the boat sunk infront of us.

It had been maybe 2 days or 3 days ahead and when we just came close to that boat I think the crew he just saw all the people dying and all the people dead and they just floating up on the water. The water just lift them up and they were everywhere and the crew saw that and he doesn’t want everyone to see that action.

If all people we saw that dead bodies we probably be shocked and also we make the same accident like them and the crew decided to trick us and he say : ‘Guys, I really heard something that the Indonesian navy they were somewhere near here so I want you, all of you guys to lay down and put the tarpaulin cover your heads and keep your head down.

When he say something like that – you know I realised we were really far away from Indonesia so how come the Indonesia navy will come all the way up to here. So, I cover my head and just I bend my head down and at the same time I was just staring outside and suddenly I saw … you know,  I heard some noise on the boat.  The boat was  moving on top of the dead bodies you know – and something was really really really  – again I don’t know even how to describe it but it touched my heart and I start crying.  I’m just seeing myself, my eyes are tearing and I don’t know even what to do and people were asking me ‘Whats wrong with you?’ and I say ‘Oh I just remember some of my friends that I lost on my first journey’.

PNG – Manus Island – Australia’s prison camp

When I saw that incident it took me far back to where I start my life in Darfur. It remind me of every corner of Darfur and every village that burn in Darfur. It remind me of many many incidents that took place in Darfur.   You know I still remember that incident – it is still in my mind.  And sometimes I used to have a nightmare due to that incident. So I don’t know what to say but it is really really hard for me to explain to people you know.  You know it is really hard to explain to somebody because if I explain it or I say it  to somebody, if I say – it doesn’t make sense but I still feel it.

You know, at night time I can see those people that I have seen them dead in Darfur and I’ve seen the people that are dead in the oceans. So with all that history I’ve just – I don’t know what to say but I have ended up in PNG here.  After even I came in here in PNG I’ve realised that they are still persecuting me and I make a comparison between PNG and my country that I fled from – you know there’s not really a big distinguish because the same things – lack of security and stability its here in PNG here and you know in my country we have the same problems – corruptions and you know unjust government that kill their own people, forcing their own people just to escape their country.

So after that all, I never imagine that one day I will leave this compound and I will go somewhere else.

Suddenly I realised I was locked up in the [Lorengau] jail with several other people and I started asking myself : I never been in a jail before and I asked my self,  ‘What did I commmited that deserve this kind of punishment’.  And you know so many questions that circling around in my mind but you know I can’t find any person that can answer those questions that I have with me.

So after I spend all my time in the prisons and I come out of prisons I just realise that I’ve got a view and I haven’t had a view before but I’ve just realised that I’ve got a view.

Oh my god.  Somethings is really indescribable.

A. 2016

Esmaeli

mosquito_attacks

image c. Eaten Fish

Here is Manus Island

Here is Manus Island

you’re hearing my voice behind the fence.

Here is Manus Island

I am not going well and neither are the other guys.

Here is Manus Island

our room’s light is always turning off.

Here is Manus Island

some one went mad,

alway sweeping the room,

my throat is filled with pebbles of the beach.

Here is manus

I am alway sleeping in my bed

A. some times comes to see me

Here is manus

A’s taking shower fifty times a day

but he feels still dirty

Here is Manus

three years of my life has been wasted

and so have your taxes.

Here is Manus

last years my arm been broken

but doctor treated with water and regular panado.

The doctor’s  name was Angel!

Here is Manus

every one is in their own low.

Here is Manus

our dinner for last night was mosquito soup

but I missed out.

Here is Manus

the cook forgot his denture in the food.

His name was Chief of the Hell.

Here is Manus

a tiny island in the pacific ocean.

Here is Manus

ou side somebody suicided

but I was cleaning the toilet.

Here is Manus

as I am high or drunk

I must cry and yell on my destiny.

Here is Manus

it has been a long time I been called JMG 68

Here is Manus

a tiny island in the ocean.

Here is Manus

you are unhappy I cost you lots of taxes

and I am upset and deppressed to be anoying you

but you won’t let me leave.

Here is Manus

I need a boat

for sailing away.

Here is Manus

I am alone

and A is alone

and humanity is alone.

– Esmaeli (January 2016, Manus Island)

with minimal editing by Janet Galbraith