Monday, 24 October 2011

Ismail, My Words Will Carry Your Message


( This poem is a gift to Ismail. Ismail is in Greece, a forgotten soul sleeping in the streets. I learnt about this through a friend on Facebook. Ismail fled from Somalia at age 13. He is an orphan. The first time I read about his story I had to stop and ask myself, "How much can a human being take?" The worst part was that he had been trafficked to Greece on a lie that he would meet his brother. There is a Facebook Page that tells of his story succinctly. There is a bigger story I find in Ismail. It is the story of the tenacity of the human spirit. But may be this story might be robbed away from us if it flickers and dies away....A kind word or any help of whatever kind in the situation will be welcome. Ismail's Birthday Wish Facebook Fanpage is a good place to whisper hope to this soul. He needs it.)

"I am a student and a poet, Ismail. I believe in God. He dwells in us. It is upon Him that we rely for sustenance. He is the Great God. Life must be tough for you, Ismail, and reading what you are going through, you will be in my thoughts. You are a phoenix, you can rise from the ashes. Your story will strike the heart of one good soul and will be carried in the souls of men and women. Your story will be the story of hope amongst human foibles, strength amid weaknesses in our society's structures. You are the indefatigable one, Ismail. Ceris, an angel, has carried your candle. Your light will shine through."
                                                 - Lorot Salem, on Ismail's Facebook Fanpage ( Written on 22/10/2011)

Ismail, true to your name,
Allah has heard your cry.

Your people say
Meel waa laga muuqdaa amba
Waa laga maqnaada waxa weeyaan
Which in the English tongue
Says go hard or go yard.

Go hard.

But how does one go hard?
Ismail, you have been to the valley of the shadow of death
Seen hideous faces in the tunnels of pretence
Felt blood clot in your veins
Faced cruel masks peel off
To tear at your heart
To pierce the shreds of what once your heart was.

You have been a Somali boy on the run
Like a fugitive, pursued by a dark spirit
Loved but not loved
Hated and hated enough
How much can a human be hated
As to be left to die?
How much should a person be lied to?

Yes, this word HUMAN TRAFFICKED.
We sit in our comfortable houses
Watch in the news that a statistic had been trafficked
Depressing news, no doubt
We flip through the channels
It makes for an entertainment
A little distraction from our busy lives.

Ismail is in Greece.
Ismail has been fleeced of human love.
Ismail is our story.
Ismail is this story.
Ismail is you.

If only I could write of what he feels right now
The pain choking in his throat
The challenges of sleeping in the streets
You will know Ismail is not a statistic
Perhaps you will get a glimpse of his life

Age 13 should be a time
When we let our youthful ‘braggadocio’ show
To flex a little of unseen biceps
To walk around with a funny style

Not for Ismail.

Age 13 was a time
When these ‘luxuries’ were stolen from him
Robbed of the pleasures of this life
Thrust into the uncertain road
In search of life
In search of life

Age 16 should be a time
When you are in High School
Struggling with gradients and physics
Making the most of life
Having some clue of what lies ahead
Assured of some roadmap, some path

Not for Ismail.

Age 16 is a chilly wind
Blowing on Ismail in Greece
A stained dream, a nightmare
An uncertain winding path
In the streets.

Ismail, I promised myself
To tell your story
I don’t have gold to offer
But I have words
Words that will carry your story through
Words that will rise beyond a whisper
To rise above the din of human’s worries
To resound into a cacophony
That will stir a human heart
To cast your story anew
Perhaps to carry it again
Over and over, over and over
To ridicule human trafficking
To share in your pain
To celebrate your hope

Ismail, this is the birthday gift I offer to you
Immortalized in these words I write
Hopeful that one day you will not sleep in the streets
Positive that Somalia will nurse you in her arms

In you, Ismail, I see the hope of mankind
What is money worth without faith?
What is shelter worth to the mysteries of the universe?
What can compare resilience?

So, keep on keeping on
You are brave, you are strong
You have been running for far too long
Soon, you will rest
My words are with you.

Ismail, true to your name,
Allah has heard your cry.


Please feel free to share this poem. By doing this, you will be doing two things: One, you will be giving a voice to Ismail's plight. Secondly, and more importantly, you will be fighting human trafficking in your own small way. Let us hope that what Ismail is passing through will be a thing of the past.


Sherry Blue Sky said...

Fantastic writing, Salem and a heartbreaking story. Your words of hope - may they help this boy find his way home. I wonder, if he made his way to an embassy, if someone would fly him back home. I, too, will spread the word. May someone with money help this boy to the life he deserves, as does every boy, and every girl.

echoesofthehills said...

A good soul had made some calls to the authorities in Greece in providing shelter to him. Let us hope for the best. In the meantime, we will spread the word and pray that he will be safe, in good health and hopefully be back home or somewhere close to home and re-unite with his brother one day.

Thank you, Koko. Please spread the word.

Ismail Bilali said...

thanks salem lorot for your poem

echoesofthehills said...

You are most welcome, Ismail.

Guest said...

Ismail, you'll find your way to a better place. Allah is there for you and He'll never forsake you brother.
Salem, thank you. God bless you always

echoesofthehills said...

Thank you @Guest. You are welcome to Echoes of the Hills once again.

Jingle Poetry said...

this is powerful, a sad case well presented,

Happy Halloween,
Hope all is well.

appreciated your previous support to us, hope to see you back any time, simply share, and smile.

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