A Little Boy Who Leaves His Country and Endures Abuse

When I met little Ahmed he was about 8 years old. He had come from Afghanistan and had lived in the refugee camp for one year.

These were the first words that he told me……

“When I was in my country I was very happy I had a great life, I had friends. I had friends that were more than friends, I loved them. And they loved me the same. I made my friends laugh and they were happy with me. But suddenly I lost everything. I lost my beautiful life, my place, my friends….”

He was so cute, he had beautiful eyes, a beautiful voice and a kind heart. He also had a sister that was two years older than him. But I could see that he was very sad. He always sat alone.

I wanted to talk with him. But he was afraid, he was always trying to hide.

I didn’t know how to help him. I could see that his family was also in a bad situation. They were looking at him like they were not able to do anything for him. That it was out of their control, they had no choice, and it would never change.

I had to find a way to make him feel comfortable with me, to show him that I was not going to hurt him.

So, one time I was talking with all of them in the same room. I was telling his mother that I would try my best to help him.

Suddenly he was laughing, even though nothing was funny. I smiled at him and tried to understand.

He was trying to talk to me but at the same time he was crying.

Suddenly he hugged me and said, “I am very tired, tired of everything…. I want to die. It is too difficult to continue like this, I am not strong enough to handle this.”

Then he just stopped talking and started crying. He cried and cried until he felt better. After that he tried to tell me what had happened to him and how he felt.

He said, “Please don’t tell this to anyone. They will beat me, if they know that I have told someone. They will beat me and it will hurt me. I feel pain when they beat me….”

Slowly he started to talk to me and to share what was going on in his life.

 “Since I came here I don’t live my life the way that I want to live. I see things that I shouldn’t see. I wish no one had to see these things. My mom and my sister they see all these things that they shouldn’t and it is all because of me, because I couldn’t help them because I am very weak and I couldn’t do anything for them.”

Suddenly he turned to me, afraid, and asked, “Why do you want to know what has happened to me? Why are you interested in my life?” And he tried to hide.

I knew he needed to share his problems so he can get out of this depression. But of course I could not force him to say something. I just tried to make him feel good so he could tell me what he needed to say and so that I would know what put him in such a depression at this young age.

“Ahmed, dear, I don’t mean anything. I just want to help you.”

He started to talk again and said, “I don’t feel good here. I am tired of being here. I want to feel free and feel like a human and live like a normal boy. I want to do whatever I want and sleep when I want to, wake up when I want. Not like this when I must listen to everyone who orders me to do something.”

As I listened to him I knew he was very upset and tired. It was really difficult for me to ask him all the questions that I wanted to know.

The day passed like this.  

The next day I was looking for him again. I wanted to talk with him and know what was going on with him. When I looked around his room he wasn’t there, I looked at the kindergarten and also he was not there.

When I looked in the garden he was there, sitting in the corner, alone. He was watching the other children play. Just looking at them with a sad face.

This was sad for me because I could see that he wanted to play but he couldn’t because he was so tired and his mind was so busy.

I knew he was in a bad situation. He needed someone to talk to, to share what was on his mind and on his heart. But he had no one he could trust. When I looked at him I understood. His face was very clear and showed me how he felt and what he needed. 

Slowly, I went to talk to him. I asked him why he was alone. I just wanted him to talk to me.

“Hey, Ahmed, what are you doing here?  I was looking around for you, I couldn’t find you. I wanted to see you.”

“I am here, I just want to see the kids.”

 “So why you don’t play with them?”

“I want to play with them, but I am tired. I want to sleep. I want to rest.”

“Ok, stand up and come with me.”

“Where we are going? Where do you want to bring me?”

“Just come you will see.”

He agreed and came with me. I took him in my car, out of the camp and I brought him to the place where I always go when I feel lonely.

It is a hill outside the city. There is no one there to listen to you and to ask you questions that you don’t want to answer it.

I told him where we were going and very quietly he told me, “I need a place like this.”

I asked him again, “What did you say?” as if I didn’t hear him, just because I wanted him to talk to me.

“I said I need somewhere like this, which I can talk alone with myself.”

“Ok dear, now we will go there. You will like it, it is a very nice view. You will like it.”

When we arrived, and he got out of the car he said, “Wooooooow! This is a super place, I love it. I want to live like this.  Nature makes me happy.”

And I was listening to him I knew the thing that made me happy was that he wanted to be alive.  

We sat and talked. It was the time for the sun to set and it was very nice.  

He said, “I wish I would be the Sun. Look, it is very big and it can see all the world.  Or I wish I could be a bird to fly anywhere, anytime that I want…….”

I told him, “Ahmed, I would also like to be a bird so I could fly and see all the beautiful nature in the world. But we cannot.  So it is better for us to accept what God made us and what He gives to us.”

He said, “Yeah, but sometimes he puts our life in a very bad situation. We are growing and missing the good moments.”

The way that he was talking was like a man who lived a long time and faced many problems.  I liked the way that he talked but at the same time, it made me sad that a little baby should think about these things. It is a time for him to think about toys and playgrounds, not about the situation of life.

He continued to talk and I just listened.

“Life is so short, I want to be in the nature, always, and smell the flowers listen and listen to the sound of the birds,” he said.

We talked like this. But I wanted to know what had happened to him. But I did not know how to ask.

I asked him, “Dear Ahmed, can you tell me what is going in your life? Why is it that you cannot be the way that you want to be?”

He replied, “Here, there is nothing good, nothing normal.  I know I want to be happy like everyone else, but I don’t know how. I have lost my feelings. I just want to go far from here. I don’t want to see the faces of new people, with new ideas of good ways to live.”

 “Ok, who stops you?” I asked him.

He said, “Can I just enjoy, for now, this place? We can talk about it later. Now, I want to enjoy this beautiful nature just for a few minutes.” 

“Yes my dear, why not. That is why we came here. I want you to know that the world, and life, is beautiful.”

“Thank you so much for this kindness.”

“You are welcome. I just want you to live your life. It is too early for you to give up on life.”

Like this he started to talk with me because he believed in me. He wanted to share his pain.

“So my dear, Ahmed, you can trust me. You don’t need to feel alone. I am always here for you, to help you and to listen to you.”

“Thank you. I see that you really want to help me and I am happy that there is someone who wants to listen to me.”

We stayed there for several hours.  After that we went back to the camp because it was getting later.

When we entered and he get out of my car he was fine, but then he saw a group of men that was looking at him. Suddenly he was scared and he ran to his room.

I didn’t know why it was like this.

The next day I was waiting for him to ask him why he ran away when he saw the men. But I could not find him.

I was sure it was because he was scared of the men and he didn’t come out of his room.

I went to his room and slowly opened the door. He started shouting at me, “Don’t take me. I want to sleep. Please leave me alone.”

He didn’t know that it was me. When he saw me, he ran to me and hugged me and cried, “Please help me get me out of this situation.”

“Ok dear, let’s get out of here, like we did yesterday. Do you want to go to the same place that we went to yesterday, the place you liked?”

“Yes, just take me out of here.”

We went to the same place again. It was really beautiful. We sat and he put his head in my lap and he started to cry. I didn’t ask him anything. I let him cry as much as he wanted until he felt good again.

Then he started to tell me what was going on.

Ahmed cried as he told me, “I came here with my family one year ago it was such a really difficult journey that I never had in my life. During the way we faced with a lots of problems, during the way they disturbed my family.”

“Who disturbed your family?”

“The man that brought us here.”

“What he was doing? How he disturb your family?”

“He was disturbing my mother. My mother was making noises she was crying and the man was shouting at her. She was telling him to stop, leave her alone.  I was crying and I couldn’t help my mother becase he put me and my sister in other room and locked the door on us, and we couldn’t get out of there to help my mother..… and my mother was asking for help…

“How many days was it like this?”

“We traveled for ten days. At every border we reached we stayed there for one day because after that we have to walk. It was dangerous to move anytime that you want so we always waited at least one day near any border.

“Was he disturbing your family for the whole journey?”

“First he was good with everyone, but when we reached Turkey we stayed there for a long time. When he couldn’t find any way that we could move soon everyone was asking him why it was getting late, we give you money, you lied to us…Then he behaved badly with everyone and he was beating the kids and shouting at others.  And my mother. I couldn’t help my mother. She was shouting, asking for help but no one was coming there to help us.

That guy told my mother if you not going to do this with me, I will leave you and your children here in the forest.

So that we could stay alive, every night my mother went with him. We just heard her voice that she was shouting and crying. Don’t do this please, let me be with my children.  But he was not listening to my mother.”

At this point I asked him, “When you reached here did he leave you or is he still disturbing you?”

He continued, “When we reached here he was following my mother, but my mother told the person who is working in the camp and they tried to stop him. After that we never saw him.”

“That is good, Ahmed. So how is the situation in the camp now? Is anyone bothering you here?”

He started to cry.

“OK, don’t cry. When you feel better you can tell me. I am here to listen to you.”

He began to talk again.

“The first day that we came here everything was ok. But after a few days everything changed and they behave badly with us.”

“Who behaves badly with are?”

“Some men. They are a big gang. But no one knows they are bad. In front of others they behave like they are good people.  When I told them that they are not good men they didn’t believe me and told me that I am bad. I tried, but nobody would listen to me.”

“I believe you. Try to explain to me why they are not good. Can you tell me what they were doing with you?”

He says, “They are disturbing me…” But he starts to cry again and he cannot speak.  But I can see that he wants to tell me.

Slowly I ask, “How are they disturbing you? Please tell me.”

“Every night they come to us, and bring us to another room.”

“You and who else?”

“Me and my sister.”

“What about your mom? Is she with you? Does she tell them you can’t go?”

“My mom always tries to stop them, every night. But they kick her and didn’t listen to her.”

“What happens when you go with them?”

“They make me wear a girl’s dress and bells and they tell me to dance. And I hate this. I told them to stop. I don’t like to do these things.  But no one listens to me. Then they are hurting me.  And they hurt my sister in front of my eyes. She is shouting and asking for help but no one is there to hear us, they are laughing when we cry and shout. All night it is like this, until morning. We have no time to sleep, they don’t let us sleep.”

I am shocked. “Every night they brought you there?” I ask.

“Yes, every night. When we don’t sleep at night we fall asleep in class. We can’t be caught up on all the subjects.  My teachers are mad. My classmates laugh at us.”

“Your teachers never ask you why you are sleeping in class all the time?”

“No, no one asks us about this. They think we are lazy and we don’t want to learn. But I love to learn. During the night when I take my book and want to read something they come to us and we both can’t read anything. We have a book from our home, a history book, it is our favorite book.  Every night we like to look at this book because for a moment we feel that we could live like this one day.”

He continued, “My sister is very quiet and when someone wants to touch her, she is afraid and she always tries to get away from people.  She only feels good with me and my mother. During the day when she wants to sleep she can’t sleep suddenly, she wakes up and starts to cry and to scream. She never sleeps like a normal person. She is scared even when she sleeps.”

After that I listened to this boy I understood how hard it was for his family. I could see that he felt better when he finally shared his story.   But he was afraid.

“You cannot tell anyone. The men will know.”

I told him I had to tell someone, but I would find a way to help him. He could not go on like this.

Now the most difficult part of my work started. I knew I had to find a way to stop him from being hurt.

First, I found a psychologist for both of them. Then I found a school for him, outside of the camp. I got permission to pick him up each day and take him to the school.

But one day he didn’t want to do with me. I asked him why?

“Because those people don’t let me go. They hurt me and tell me I shouldn’t go with you.”

How could I stop this? I knew the only way was to get them a new place to live. 

Finally, I found a place for them. Ahmed and his sister went to school. Their mother started working.

After some time, Ahmed saw me near his school.

He ran to me, and hugged me and started to cry.

“My dear, why do you cry?”

“I am crying because all these that I have now are all because of you. Thank you.”

“No, dear. Thank you. You have made me very happy, too.”

Finding a way to touch someone else’s heart is difficult. But it is the most beautiful feeling.

Many people tried to help this child, but nobody else was let in. Now both of them are in school. Ahmed is in the 6th class and his sister is in 7th class. They have friends.  They are happy.

Every child deserves to be happy and safe.

Публикувано на 2 Ноември 2018 в 15:04 часа от
Силсила Махбуб

Ключови думи:Афганистан, действителен случай, лични истории

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