GUEST WRITER

IBRAHIM RAIZ

Your journey starts at the crossroad of desolation and demise, in a small town in the outskirts of Syria, amidst the limitless sounds of gunshots as they penetrate the metal, the wall and the soul.

All around you swirling embers torch the blue tinged sky, as rocks fall, crushing everything you familiarised yourself with your family, your hopes and your aspiration.

You clutch your little brother and immerse yourself in the only thought that springs forth, only one word permeates your brain, run, run as far your legs carry you, run away from foreign bodies but from our vicious, selfish selves.

You land a few miles away in the middle of nowhere, all around you there is an endless sea of sand and the only embodiments are you, your brother and the cloud of imminent death that follows you.

Your bother cries, shouting as loud as he can for a drop of water, to soothe his parched tongue, a morsel of food to quiet the incessant rumblings that plague him minute after minute.

Distressed lonely, abandoned, you trudge as your starving body can carry you. An hour passes under the blazing, unforgiving sun before you reach a town or the remnants of one. You reach a stream of water that’s not clean but something you can’t turn your nose at for now. You drink, knowing that you’re poisoning yourself but beggars can’t be choosers, can they?

Suddenly the world around you erupts in a flash of piercing light as the cloud descends and the symphony of death, it starts again. You flee, run for the sake of safety, on the hope that on this tyrannical globe there still exist the mythical attribute, humanity. The only thing that drives is hope and on that very hope yourself at the mercy of the reckless sea, on a plastic boat.

There you sit in the middle of two hundred and fifty cursed souls in a boat for fifty people, all around the smell if sweat, blood and death dull the sense threatening to overpower you.

Days pass and you still cramped, some have drowned, many are wounded and the rest scarred for life, in these deplorable conditions you get rewarded by the sight of land. All around you there is joy, glee and something you were desperate to see, happiness.

But wait, suddenly the tables turn as armed men appear at the coast forcing you to turn back, in a way telling you that this pain, this sacrifice and this journey was for nothing.

Welcome to the 21st century, a time where we praise ourselves in the highest intuitions and yet still fail to act as we advocate. These refugees weren’t Iranians, Afghanis, Syrians, they were humans.

There you have the problem! We have divided ourselves as essentially one group, humans. That’s not all these refugees aren’t the result of a natural catastrophe but the result of our efforts to eradicate radical fundamentalist group, then why?

Why should we abandon and disavow ourselves from the responsibility of our actions?

These people did not knock at your doors for luxuries, money or oil, but just for the one right we always advocate for - the right to life.

Is that too much to ask for? If it is, then honestly, there is no hope for this world and the countries refusing refugees could never be considered humane.

The writer is a student of Aitchison College Lahore.