Walking through the desert made me exhausted, but I had to keep going. Pushing my body past its limits to try and escape horror and carnage that now engulfs my home. Home… Fallujah, Iraq, the place where I grew up, played with my friends and was training to be a warrior… a soldier is now once again a war-zone thanks to the actions of my traitorous older brother Abdullah. Now, I am a wanderer, a lost soul drifting in the desert wind, a refugee. My name is Aisha, I’m 17 years old and this is my story.
After walking for, what feels like forever, I turned around and saw an approaching vehicle. Reacting quickly, I put myself in the path of the vehicle; which suddenly stopped and was able to convince the family; (who I later learned also fled the destruction in Fallujah) to allow me to ride with them across the Karameh Border Crossing. While waiting to cross the Karameh Border Crossing, I recalled a conversation I had with my brother prior to the attack on Fallujah:
48 Hours Ago:
“How could you go along with this insane plan? Willing to kill thousands of innocent people,” I asked Abdullah angrily.
“I am going through with this plan because they are my friends and this corrupt capital nearly killed us. Look what they did to our parents,” Abdullah fired back angrily.
“Abdullah. These people are not your friends. They are using you as a pawn and manipulating your fear and anger towards the capital for their purposes. To them, you’re a means to an end. You’re expendable to them. Please don’t do this.” I replied pleading for my brother to listen while standing in front of him, blocking his path.
“No. They’re not. I don’t care how many people I kill if it sends a message to the capital that their actions have consequences. If you don’t get out of my way little sister, then I will kill you first.” Abdullah replied; before unholstering his SIG P226 and pointing it at Aisha’s head.
“I’m sorry you feel this way Abdullah, but I can’t stand here and let you murder thousands of innocent people. Our parents would be ashamed of what you are doing” I said while discreetly looking for an escape route in case my brother tried to shoot me.
“Hey. Hey.We passed the border and are in Ruwaished. My dad said that you could continue to ride with us if you want. We’re headed towards the Refugee camp,” the little boy next to me stated.
“Sure. Hopefully, I can find someone who can help me get some food and water” I said as we continued to drive towards the refugee camp. Once there, the family and I went to check-in and what I saw was heartbreaking; there were so many people who were being treated; children, mothers, sisters, fathers, and brothers; all who were affected by war. After I finished getting treated, I walked over to a group of people in the corner and saw what appeared to be a family hovering over a boy whose face was wrapped in medical gauzes, had an IV in his arm, and had bandages on his hands, but otherwise looked fine.
“Excuse me. I don’t mean to pry, but I was just wondering; what exactly happened to him?” I asked.
“Oh. It’s fine. Our son was badly injured after Fallujah was attacked. We managed to escape before the worst of the attack came, but our son sustained burns all on his face and had first-degree burns on his hands,” the mother stated; while looking worriedly at her son.
“Do you know if there were others that managed to escape?” I asked the mother.
“Not that I know recall, but I do see several of my friends here; but, I’m not sure about anybody else” the mother replied.
After listening to several other stories by people who survived the attack on Fallujah, my anger only grew as the repercussions of what Abdullah had done came at me full force; which fueled my desire to take my brother down and if possible; arrest him when I find him, but if I can’t apprehend him; then I will kill him as retribution against all the innocent people he has killed and injured in pursuit of his so-called vengeance. From this point, onward:
I am more than a WANDERER,
I am more than a REFUGEE,
I AM MORE THAN BREATH AND BONES,
I am the REFUGEE WARRIOR!
**NOTE: In the creation of this short story, I had no intention of offending anyone from the Middle East, so if I have in any way; than I apologize.**
I grew up in Pennsauken, New Jersey and went to a Christian school for the majority of my education. I then moved here; to Virginia and am currently enrolled at the NOVA Woodbridge Campus, majoring in Social Science. I plan to transfer after 2 years to either Messiah College in Pennsylvania, or Christopher Newport University in Newport News.
You can read more of God is Eternal 777’s writing at: The Refugee Crisis: Public Policy and Personal Impact