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Monday, October 26, 2015

Leaving it all behind.

My father sold all his investments.
His stocks, car, land properties, even his nice shoes.

My mother sold her jewelries.
Her anniversary necklace which was given by my father 25 years ago. It was worth thousands of dollars, but she sold it the pawn for 50 dollars. And that was the most she got. She sold all of her priced possessions too for meagre price.

To make sure that my brothers and i would have a better chance of survival and a better life outside of this once a peaceful country, they gathered all their money, counted right down to the penny, and kept on selling more stuff including our clothes, kitchen appliances, and herb plants in our backyard until they finally had enough.

They bought my brothers and i tickets to a better life.

We didn't want to leave them behind, but mother said, they have lived long enough, that we still have more to go.

On the day we have to depart, we prayed together and for the first time, we prayed in tears.

Father had pack our things. A loaf of bread, some money, and water. Mother told us to keep our most comfortable shoes and clothes. And that night, we wore them.
That night, we didn't speak, but our hearts were beating so hard, we could all hear it beating together. They were fast yet steady.

My eldest brother led the way. He would run stealthily ahead, check if the coast was clear, and we would trail behind him. About an hour of running while evading and hiding, we reached the meeting point, right at the foot of a hill with a huge tree completely overshadowing our ride; a black boat, which looked like the float we used to play in when we went to the beach, many lifetime ago.
My mother reached last, wheezing as she limped towards us. Her leg was cramped.
We could see people starting to climb into the boat, and father and mother told us to run towards it as fast as we could and go.

I turned to say goodbye, but mother said it's not a goodbye. She told me to stick with my brothers, that she loves us all, and to have faith in Allah.

I cried while running towards to boat, and saw my brother held out his hand to catch me. As soon as i grabbed his hand, he pulled me in and sat me next to him. We were all cramped now with a lot of other people.

It wasn't cold, but i was shivering. I wasn't the only one. The lady who sat beside me was also shivering and whimpering. I noticed that she was holding her small child who looked confused with all the quiet rushing and hushed voices.

Suddenly, people started to stop talking and it felt as if we stopped breathing too. We were as silent as the night. And then, the boat started to move very smoothly with the current.

I dared myself to look back at where mother and father was, but saw nothing. We have drifted quite a distance and it was too dark to see anything. The only light available was the moon and its reflection on the sea water.

What felt like hours later, we could see the sun starting to rise. The colour of the sky was shifting from pitch black, to grey. I could now see the people around me. I looked at my brothers and they were also looking around, taking in the people that were in the same boat.

Then, the motor started abruptly. I could feel everyone jumped at the sound. The fear sank in again. We were all praying silently to reach what ever land that would accept us. Some children were crying, some people were talking. But my brothers and i, we just prayed and prayed.

Not long after the sun had risen, i heard people around me murmuring. My brother poked me so hard, and told me to look up. He was pointing on our left. People were standing up and so i stood up.
We could see land!

Everyone was so overjoyed that one man had to scream over our excited screams and told us to calm down because we were making the boat sink. Everyone sat down immediately. One man, he looked to be around 40, stood at the front and gave us instructions.
We have to help each other.
Find a place that can accept us.
Don't cause trouble to anyone, or we'll be returned back to our country.
And finally, be careful.

One person asked where we were heading, and the man only shrugged. He said we were supposed to go a different route, but he saw a ship's light, and he immediately changed course. He didn't want to risk running into the enemy.

I felt everything then.
Fear, gratitude, anxiousness, and hopelessness.
We didn't know where we were heading. We don't know where to go, and even where to begin.We don't know if we do have a better chance of surviving than when we were in our country. So many uncertainties...

But mother and father told us to tawakkal. The unknown is fearful, be we must have faith in Allah.

We were all watching intensely at the island we were slowly reaching. Some children were crying on hunger and thirst. I gave the child next to me my share of the bread.

As we were reaching the island, we could here loud chanting. There were people waiting for us!
I was scared at first, but my brother looked at me with an excited smile.

"Can you hear that!?" he said.
I strained my ear. And yes. I heard.


Some men stood up on the boat, which caused us to wobble dangerously, and the sat down promptly. One man shouted back,
and we all shouted as loudly as we could "ALLAHU AKBAR!"
I was in tears, tears of joy!
We were all crying, even the men!

We kept with our takbir until we reached the shore, and the men and women that were waiting for us from the shore pulled us off the boat, one by one. The men treated the men, the women tended to the women and children.
One lady who took me asked me straight away if i was okay. I nodded. She pulled me towards a tent where we were given food and water. Everyone was crying, hugging each other, and a few ladies were in sujud. Some were lying down with what looked like doctors surrounding them.
I dropped my bag and fell into sujud too, thanking Allah for bringing us here. The tears have stopped, but my heart was swelling with gratitude. Allahu Akbar! Alhamdulillah!

After everyone were properly fed and dried, we were allowed to leave the tent to find our family.
I ran towards my brothers, and were cried in each other's embrace. We were safe. We were finally safe.

We really don't know what will happen to us.
But we are hopeful.
I finally understood what it means to let go of the world and hold Allah in my heart, because that was the only thing i held on to from the time i left my parents and my home behind. We have lived through the hardest ordeal, threatened by death everyday, and now, Allah is promising a future for us. Perhaps we will be the ones changing the future of our country.

*all made up, i'm sorry. i just couldn't imagine what it's like to be them.. I just wish that i could be among the people accepting them on our shores, with other muslim brothers & sisters. we are supposed to be brothers & sisters in islam, right?
not meant to disrespect anyone. if i did, i'm so sorry.
if my info were incorrect, i'm sorry. like i said, it's all made up.
my heartfelt prayers to the survivors of the war.


Kie Nicholson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kie Nicholson said...

I feel cheated, coz I cried so hard and find out it's some made up. But you did great at writing this. It feels real. I was pretty mad actually when I reached bottom disclaimer.But it's okay.

Aisyah Munirah said...

Kak Mars :(((

Vuterlanik said...

A beautiful description, Maria. Thank you for writing this. It opens my eyes that has been so unaware of the condition of muslim brothers and sisters at the war zone, refugee camp and all other threatened places.
May Allah helps them, makes things easy for them and keeps their heart peace and content despite the tough situation they are facing.
May Allah makes your soul even more beautiful.

Yanti Husin said...

sebaknya baca.

By Juhainie said...

Your writing did look real and it made me cry as well.

aliya athiqah azman said...

Kak Mariaaa I was crying so hard, bawling reading this until i reached the disclaimer. Soooo meannnn :( But you describe the situation very well, and it touches my heart. Only they who go through the experience know how it feels leaving all their family, friends belonging to another place without knowing what will happen to them. May Allah protect them and ease their burden.

Jαnnαhツ said...

saspens betul la kak maria. ingat betul tadi. tp mmg touching sangat.

inspi(red) said...

Sedihnya 😢