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This article about the Angels , who I called them and told them  that name  ( maybe it's their jobs ) but for us who was in this thin line between life and death , I saw them that way , so I dedicate this article to the rescue teams in the Mediterranean
By Youssif HALIEM Posted in The Death Trip on June 9, 2018 0 Comments 13 min read
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The Angels

I wanted to publish this article in this time because during this time exactly in 2015 , I was in the Mediterranean sea struggling to survive, dreaming of the freedom land , trying to arriving in a new continent and new life , during this year in France , one year of struggling also , and meeting amazing people , and disappointed also , one year without  even single ID paper  , at June 2015 I entered as “illegal migrant” and June 2016 I am  still “illegal migrant” , everything is The same ‘except’ ( I changed my hair style) , but this is not what this article about , I will publish a long article about what I found in France soon .

This article about the Angels , who I called them and told them  that name  ( maybe it’s their jobs ) but for us who was in this thin line between life and death , I saw them that way , so I dedicate this article to the rescue teams in the Mediterranean , thank you so much for rescued us , you will still the Angels of the sea , who helping the migrants who doesn’t have any one to help them in the sea , during this year I met amazing people who help the migrants a lot too (and I really want to thank everyone who helped any migrants ) , but they are the first Europeans I saw in my life who helped us  .

Location : Mediterranean sea at the Libyan coast .
Time : end of may 2015

We are in queue and  at the Coast , the people with the fuel tanks at the first of the queue, the sound of the waves when it’s smashing the rocks , it’s really loud and scary ( except if you enjoy in a beach , you will find it romantic and beautiful ) , at that moment people was whispering ( for me to forget about my trip I started to listen to them ) here is part of one conversation I remember .
One guy : do you think we will pass through this big waves with this plastic boat .
The other : I don’t know but  we hope at least we will never been caught by the Libyans coast guards , and why you are afraid ?
The guy : I didn’t tell anyone that I am going to Europe even my family  , I am not afraid of die but I am afraid that my family won’t know that I am dead , look at that guy (pointing to someone )  , they said he supposed to be in the previous boat but he get afraid and escaped when he saw the waves , like this one .
The other : I think he doesn’t have any other choice because he came again .

” The Tormentor  “

At that moment I saw three or four get out from the line and they start running , and two others did the same , I said to myself ( this is really scary , maybe I should run too , but I remembered that I have only three options , arrive in one peace , died in the sea , captured by the Libyans coast guards , but in the last option I will come again and again till I arrive or I die ) , the smugglers start to load the boat with the people one by one , after while the boat became full but there is more in the coast waiting to ride in , so one of the smugglers get in with us to make space for the others , they send to him every person of the others and he pushing and beating with his steak to make the space ,  I get lucky to understand the other meaning of the word ( be together and united till the storm pass) ,  I was sitting on someone and someone sitting on me , someone head between my knees  , and everyone was accepting the other .

” Shark Vin “

The captain started the machine , and the assistant prepared his GPS ( while we were in the farm , the smugglers gave the assistant GPS but he couldn’t configured it because he didn’t use one before , I offered my help to configured it and he told me ” when we get into the boat , set next to me , in case I need you help in the GPS , I agreed but when we are in the boat , it was impossible because I am in the front side and he was next to the captain in the other side )  , everyone was afraid and terrifying , during all that night we still see the light’s of Libyans coast , till the morning came , the waves play with the boat like ( a mom who waving her baby except the mom won’t hurt baby ) , at the sunrise I remember when someone saw a shark and he yelled ( I saw a Shark fin over there it’s really close to us , most who in the upper floor “who don’t have anyone above them” and everyone start to make the boat unbalanced , it’s became chaos , the women with her child start to yelled at the people ( why you are all scared from a shark , there’s only one type of death , just be calm and waiting for your disteney ) .

” Our Singer “

The boat keep sailing , just us in this plastic boat between this big waves under the sun , one of the guy has good voice so he start singing loudly to distract the people and this songs was my best songs , the people was afraid but they kept singing together ” Like a afraid child who close his ears to force himself to forget the situation ”  , after hours of sailing people get thirsty and hungry  , the smugglers already gave us some cakes and water , so the people start to pass the cakes to each other , and I remember that guy who couldn’t move his hands because there’s no way to get them out from where they are , so someone above him feed him , and who want to pee he should do it in his own self , some of us used the empty water bottle .

” Are we Lost ! “

The night came , the lights appeared  again in the right side of the boat , we knew that we lost in the sea and we didn’t get far enough of libya , someone yelled at the captain ( you made us lost , you don’t know what to do) , and the captain said ( I am sorry bro , I had never been sailing in the Mediterranean before now) , and the people start worrying of the Libyans coast guards ” because that’s mean you will be send back to your country , or stay in Libyans prison for long time , or you pay to get out of the prison ) , so we all decided to add one rule to our rules that given to us by the smugglers , the rules of the smugglers is ( when you see the rescue boat , first thing you throw the GPS and the satellite phone ” which never worked for us and the GPS also never worked well ” in the water , and the second one is ” there’s no captain in this boat , if you had been asked ” because the captain was migrant too ) and the rule that we added is ( when we see the Libyans coast guards , we will jump in the water , because we all decided to arrive in dignity or died in dignity ) , and this rule means kill you self or arrive in one piece , the captain that we leave the coast on our left side and sailing back again , and twist toward the north , we spend all that night sailing

” Chemical reaction “

During we sailing that night , The boat start to leaking a salt water , we couldn’t know where is the source , it was a small leak , but we are who settingin the floor of the boat , we noticed that we will be cover by this water soon , and  I couldn’t stay in my place like this , so I asked someone who setting on one of the fuel tanks ” the tanks became to be less and less ” , and he agreed happily , for second I asked myself what made him agreed with happiness , hardly we exchange the places , and I felt happy to move my body , but after minute I realized that I am setting on the hell , because when the fuel active with the salt water on the human body it’s become something else unbelievable , I get through many kind of pains and  tortures , but this one of the most painful pain I never have in my life , it’s became like acid , and I will never forget this pain in my life

” No matter the night is long , the morning will come “

The morning came , and we still in the same boat and the same water , but the lights disappeared , the leak of the water became more and more , the people who are in the floor of the boat became half covered by the water , after while we  heard a sound of helicopter , than the helicopter appeared on the sky , everyone at that moment smiled ” I think if the boat have lips will smile too” , ( and if you asked any migrant , what his most happy moment , he will told you when I saw the helicopter of the rescue ) , people start waving their hands , and after while we saw the ship , we took like three or two hours to just arrived near it , when we get close to the ship , two small boats arrived to us , they presented them self that they are from the Irish navy , and they are here to help us ,  they throw to us some life vests , and they took the women’s and the children , and they back again to take us in this small boat’s to the ship ,  but they realized , they can’t do that because we were a lot , so they asked us ( who is the captain ) , we all said THERE’S NO CAPTAIN , he laughed and asked us ( so , how you arrived till here ) , we said , WE DON’T KNOW , ” this was the funniest moment for me ”  , but the guy said ( hey you “and pointed to the captain ” , drive the boat , we saw you ” and he pointed to the helicopter ” ) , the captain didn’t respond and stayed in his place , till they decided one of them will drive the boat , and he get in the boat , but they didn’t found the key of the machine ” I think the captain when he was happy or afraid , he throw it with the GPS and the phone ” , so they had to use the key of their boat .

” The little Europe “

We get close of the ship , they dropped the ladder to a another boat between our boat and the ship , they choose us one by one to claim the ladder to the deck of The ship , when you get on the deck first person will check you ( security check) after that , I found out there is more than 400 persons before us ,  the ship was full of migrants , at this time , when I looked at those who work in the ship , I didn’t saw them as humans , I saw them as Angels ( maybe you will think  , I shouldn’t called them Angels , because there’s a lot of people who help , and this is their jobs ) , but I am looking from my point of view , they are the first persons who helped me , and they were SOO kind with us , I just saw them in this way.

Location : Irish navy ship , Mediterranean sea
Time : end of may 2015

After we get the blankets and snacks , and been checked by the doctors , everyone was exhausted , and happy , and thinking about this land called ( Europe) , for me I was thinking , how it’s look like ? , are they nice people ? , do they will hate me ? , how they living ? , who are they ? , ( I force my imagination to stop thinking ,  before I will get to the question of , “are they humans? ” 🙂  ,  while I was in this situation , I looked at the navy man who was happy and talking to the migrants , I asked myself , why they look happy while they helping us ? , why we miss this opportunity in Africa , why they don’t go to help the refugees in the Africans camp’s ? , why they aren’t fighting against the dictatorships , which is  the main reason of the migration ? , anyway it’s questions without answer I think ! , after that the ship start sailing toward Europe , at that night I had conversation with one of the crew , and I told him how we are all grateful for them to rescue us , and I see them as the Angels , and I wish if all the Europeans like them , the man laughed , and said ” I wished that too , but you will find other type of people ” .

” Palermo chebelposto “

We spent another day to arrive at ” Palermo ” , that’s why I am so grateful to them , because we spent full day with navy ship so what will happened  if  we want to arrive in our  boat all this distance , how we can arrived to the land , I remember every inch in this navy ship , and the faces of the crew , and I remember, I was happy in incredible way , I never had that high  emotions in my life ,after this day ,  we arrived at Palermo Port , and I saw all this people , journalists , medicines , police , associations who waiting for us on the ground , we arrived in queue , and I will never forget this moment when I put my foot in the Italian ground , I knew this is new life for me , new values , new friends , maybe new type of disappoint also , at the first step you will go to the medicines and after that the food and after that the police where they take your information , after that you will go to the bus , my bus was heading to “Messina”   , the procedure was very fast , we were more than 1000 migrants I think , in the time you find there’s  queue in one of the association in France ” without mention the name ” the people  had to stay all the night long , and after that they take only few of them , which make me wondering , WTF is going on!! , they should go to Italy to have training of welcoming the people ” not all of them of course” .

This story of the luckiest migrants in the mediterranean , there’s who lived in wrost situation , and who died during in a trip like this one .

To be continue

(Out of the text )

We take different paths in our life , but I am really happy , because in my path in France , I found Amazing friends , I really appreciated to have them in my life , those friends are my Angels too , thank you a lot to my friends and everyone who helped the migrants .

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