Age: 24
From: Baghdad, Iraq

One Guy’s Story
(written by hand in a notebook near the Greek-Macedonian border)

There was once a guy from Iraq. He, his brother, two sisters and his mom and his dad lived in a beautiful and rich area in Baghdad, in a large house on Palestine Street.

They had freedom and fun.

This guy knew a lot of people. He had so many friends that he would sometimes forget their names. He lived without any responsibilities or cares– he lived just for fun. He lived without girls, without anything sad, or any troubles in his life.

He loved soccer, so he joined a soccer club in Baghdad. He tried out and joined the team. That was the first step in his soccer career.

He was very successful. After a  month, he landed a contract with the soccer club and he got his own money and was able to support himself. This was the first real responsibility he ever had.

He also he did well in his studies and he was accepted into the big gates of the  university to study electrical engineering. 

The days followed one after another and life was beautiful for him. After three years of success in studying and soccer, he was in the last year of his university and looking forward to graduating. He planned to move to Portugal after graduation to pursue his professional soccer career.

Two months into the academic year, he went to the university in the morning, just like he always did. Then, he got a call on his cellphone.

His friend screamed into the phone: “A missile landed on your house!” The boy ran to his house.

What was once a three story house, was now only ruins.

“Your family was inside the home when the rocket hit.” His friend told him.

Like a madman, he starting searching for them under the rubble. He first found his mother– God took her soul– she was dead. He pulled her out and laid her on the side of the rubble.

He continued searching and soon found his younger sister– she was also dead.  After looking for a half an hour, he found his older sister– may God take her soul. And then after looking for two hours at last he found his younger brother and took him out.

He went back to look for his father and after a difficult search that lasted for one hour– he found him– alive. He put his father’s head on his chest and his father spoke to him.

He said: “Take care of your younger sister.” His father didn’t know that it was impossible. His younger sister was already dead. After a few minutes, his father also passed away. The boy was silent for a few moments and then cried out a powerful cry and fainted.

He woke up two days later in a hospital with a doctor standing beside him. The boy asked him what happened. The doctor said, you had a heart attack. The boy asked him what happened to my family?

He told me, they all died. I could not save any of them. I am sorry.

The boy screamed like a madman and cried– he did not know what else to do. He fainted again and woke up  a few hours later. It was nighttime. They let him out of the hospital. He did not know where to go or have any place to sleep so he slept that night in the street.

Then the morning of the new day began and he returned to the hospital. He put all of his family members in his car and took them to the cemetery. First he lay his father in the grave. Then his younger sister next to him. Then his brother. Then his older sister. And then last, his mother- to sleep there eternal until Christ comes to wake her again.

He was lost– he wandered aimlessly. It was as if his life was over– he did not know how he could live by himself without them. For four months he lived in his apartment trying to forget what happened but he could not. So he gathered his belongings and traveled to Turkey.

He stayed there for three months, still trying to forget what happened but he could not. He worked and looked for new things to work on in an attempt to forget but he could not. So he decided to travel to Greece.

After four hours in the sea he arrived one of the Greek islands. His only goal was to find something that could make him forget the sorrow and sadness that is with him always.

He spent four days on the island and decided to go to Athens. He took an all night trip on a ferry and arrived, tired. to Athens. He waited until night to take a train to continue on to Thessaloniki. He met a Syrian family on the train– a woman with her two young children and two older daughters 17 and 19. They traveled together. He slept on the train for six hours and when they got to the train station in Thessaloniki they took the next bus to Polykastro. He walked all day with that family. He carried four bags on his back and one child on his neck. One child held his hand. They reached the camp in Idomeni, near the Macedonian border.

He is always looking for something or someone to help him forget the pain inside. He is waiting for the borders to open so that he can keep moving.

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