anettes blog – on the road

refugees and migrants telling their stories

Where is the library – from Libya to Italy

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Migrantlejren på den italienske ø Sicilien

After his arrival from Libya to the Italian coast the first thing Adane asks for is a library. Adane is young and a migrant/refugee from Etiopia. He is a writer and he has had two books published in his homeland. Poems and short stories. And then Adane has one big passion: Philosophy.

Adane is a writer and the first thing he asks for when arrived to Italy is a library

A rescueship recently picked up him and 180 other refugees and migrants from the sea. Malta said no when the ship asked to go into the harbour. Italy agreed that the ship could land the many people on Lampedusa. From there they were taken to Sicily which brought Adane and the other rescued to a migrantcamp in a smaller village on Sicily.

-It was awful three days onboard the woddenboat in the icy cold Mediterranean, Adane writes. Suddenly the motor broke down, but luckily they succeeded in making it work again. When they spotted the rescue ship the 180 people on board the wooden boat was so relieved.

One morning in the beginning of November I get this message from Adane:

-Miss. Now I am in Italy.

It is about two weeks since I have heard from Adane. At that time I understood he was in Tripoli waiting for his turn to cross the Mediterranean to Europe. Adane is just one out of many who have been stranded under awful and inhuman conditions in Libya. He has been there for one and a half year, locked up in several detentions centers and he has experienced how the Libyan police and human smugglers are insulting the refugees with rape, torture and even murder. Once in a while he writes and asks if I have any news from the sea.

A couple of days after his arrival to the camp on Sicily he is writing again.

-I can not stay here. It is far out in the country and this willage only have a small library and there are no books in English. Only in Italian. I am confused about everything.

We discuss his possibilities. I do not know much about the conditions for migrants in Italy. Adane starts learning Italian from an app on his telephone.

And then I do not hear from Adane for a while. Like with all my contacts in Libya I sometimes look at Messenger to see if they have been online – if they have they must be alive a fact you can never be sure of in Libya. One morning there is a new message from Adane:

I am now in France, he writes. I am just so happy. Now I can read all the big French philosophers and writers like Camus, Victor Hugo, Sartre, Rene Descartes, Roussos and all the big Russian writers.

Adane is also an electrician and first of all he hopes for asyleum in France and a job. At the moment he is staying in an African friends house in Grenoble, but the next day, he writes that now he is living in the street. He could not stay on a in this friends house, whom he just met on his way from the French-Italian border to Grenoble. A few hours later he write that now he has found a house for refugees, where he can stay. At least for some days.

-France is a good country. Even here in Grenoble there are four universities and big industries. I am sure I will succeed and reach my goal, he writes.

-It is just now I need some help. A safe place to sleep, something to eat, a bath and a place to wash my clothes. Soon I will be able to manage on my own and I will create my life in my own way.

I have more with Adane about his life in Libya and his dreams for the future, written by himself.

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Forfatter: Flugtens ansigt

Jeg er freelancejournalist og fornylig gået på efterløn. Det har givet livet nye muligheder. Somrene tilbringer jeg på smukke Bornholm. Vintrene et sted ude i verden: Marokko, grænselandet mellem Thailand og Myanmar, Bali, Borneo eller et sted i Europa. Netop nu står Europa over for en af sine største flygtningekriser, og jeg vil bruge efteråret og vinteren 2015/16 til at sætte ansigter på denne humanitære tragedie. Jeg vil rejse i Grækenland, hvor mange flygtninge og immigranter første gang sætter foden på europæisk jord, og jeg vil senere tage til Jordan, et af de nærområder, der huser rigtig mange syriske krigsflygtninge.

2 thoughts on “Where is the library – from Libya to Italy

  1. So wonderful to read another of your poetic stories. I am wishing the best for Adane. Hugs.

    Like

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