The last struggle, getting out of the hell.
“Keep going, stay strong, forget your shoulders pain and keep walking”
The thoughts I had while I was carrying my little brother “Muhammed”, seven-year-old in my hands and my over 20kg back bag on my shoulders through our struggle in the last deadly journey we had.. “out of hell”.
We started after we deal with a smuggler who just looks like the others, had a gun on pants, had tattoos on arms, smoking every minute, and knows nothing but money and lies.
We considered that we paid for our freedom, and it’s one of our sacrifices we have done for this sake.
We took the last family photo as we did before being displaced from Eastern Ghouta to the north of Syria, we shut the door and said hadn’t looked back.
The smuggler picked us with 5 others at 10:30 pm on 21 July. We were 12 persons, we reached the point of smuggling just 10km before that wall between Syrian-Turkish borders, then the journey of getting out of hell had just begun, it was a torture in itself.
The moon was half in the sky on that warm night when we started walking through the fields of “Dir Swan” town going towards the wall in the midnight, there were hyenas around making that scary yelling, we just ignored and keep walking down of mountains and fields, then we took a rest between olive trees waiting for moonset, I was taking care of my little brother Muhammed, my father taking care my mother, and everyone was looking after the other.
Later, We reached the wall around 1:30 am and kept walking among its edge, that edge was only about 15cm, we walked in a queue for about 1km on that dangerous edge which was getting higher and higher among a mountain, yes that part of the wall we were walking among was built on a mountain, we recognized that once we saw the deep valley and looked down from the 15cm edge we were stepping on, I kept holding my brother’s wrist till I thought my hand will be mixed with his wrist after his leg slid from the edge and I picked him up before he falls down into that 30m deep valley while I was balancing myself with my 20kg back bag on that damn edge of that wall at the tops of those cliffs. Everyone was dealing with his luggage on his back.
Later, we reached that part when the wall ends, the Turkish gendarme didn’t complete it from that side because they surely know that no human being can reach this point after those deadly high cliffs, and we had done it and reached there. We step out of that edge with a first step on the Turkish lands, then we ran into there in the darkness of that night around 2:15 am.
Then, the other part of that deadly journey had begun, we kept walking down in valleys, between stony cliffs, and down of mountains for nearly 3 hours, we took rest 6 times for about 5 minutes each time, we get tired but we kept walking and walking behind guys work for the smuggler, I carried my brother several times and jumped with him over a river was running in one of the valleys we walked through, as I also held my mother’s hand to help her moving fast, she got tired more than anyone of us.
During walking between those dark stony valleys, I had a lot of thoughts was coming in and out in mind, “why borders are closed in front of civilians faces? Why do we have to pay a lot for a right of human rights that everyone on Earth has? Why do we have to get through all of this torture?”.
I kept answering my questions with one thing, “I will beat the circumstances, and keep struggling until the end of this, no I won’t look back”.
It was dawn when we walked over 5km inside Turkey, we ran out of water and we all were exhausted, thirsty, and barely could move our legs to take steps, we reached “Kilis” city farms, then suddenly, the taxi that the smuggler deal with had come over the farms to pick up to a flat in Kilis, it was 6:30 am, then we rest for an hour to complete to Istanbul via another taxi with over 16 hours travel by car, we reached our relatives’ house in Istanbul at 10:30 pm. 22 July, and slept like dead people.
That was the last struggle, the last torture of hell, getting out of hell.