D: Age 21, at Via Cupa

D: Age 21, at Via Cupa


I was living in Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) for nine years, but I wasn’t allowed to work, so I set out for Khartoum (Sudan) with some smugglers.  There was no water. Then two bands of smugglers began fighting, the truck I was in overturned, and my arm was pinned to the ground. Others’ backs were broken and they were left to die.  I was pulled out of the wreck, but when I got gangrene in my arm, the smugglers cut it off at the elbow so that I could live — they would only be paid for me if they could deliver me alive.  Then I was tortured in Libya.  They told me I was being tortured because I am a Christian; but I’m proud to be a Christian.  Many others remain in Libya with broken heads and legs.  Later, on the sea, I was rescued after seven hours by the Italian navy.

I had known of the risks before setting out from Ethiopia. But now I would tell Eritreans not to take the risks — I wouldn’t wish what happened to me on my enemies. I would like to go to England, where I have a friend.  But I can’t get there, so I’ll hope for Germany, where I’ll try to work with one hand.  My parents know that I was injured, but not that I lost half my arm.