Interview with Mohammed
In spite of my consolidated experience, and the numerous interviews about racism, war and poverty, having this twentyish guy near me caused me worry. I do not manage to decipher something beyond what his eye feigns.
I sit better and, before putting the tape recorder into operation, I ask him if he is willing to do it. He nods. I press the REC bottom and I begin my role.
What’s your name?
Mohammed Abdi – he answers with almost maddening coldness.
Where are you from?
-I lived in Beledweyne, capital of Hiiraan (in Somalia) – he pronounces in Arabic with a slightly Italian accent.
When did they capture you?
Five years ago, when I was going to school with some of my friends.
Were they also captured?
Yes but two of them tried to escape and they were shot in their heads when they were found – he tells me, this time, without looking me in the eyes.
What did they force you to do? – I ask knowing the importance of that question.
Well They placed us in the front line in civil wars and or tribal conflicts; they cleaned minefields compelling us to run before the cruel soldiers eyes – Mohammed asks adding his opinion – And, and
And..? – I invite him to continue.
Can I drink water?
I answer affirmatively and I realise that, little by little, Mohammed is belittling. I feel his shadow of fear with a shine that it may finish in tears.
I had to capture more children like us and even, kill them if they didn’t obey. I swear that I didn’t want to – he burst into tears – But they threatened me if I didn’t do it Do you know? I hurt with what I was doing. I wasn’t like the others. I had a family and I knew something different from the war – he explains while he is drying his tears, which drain by his face.
And How were the other partners?
A lot of them were drug addicts, lacking of affection and obsessed with the dead. They didn’t know anything else. War. The wicked war that punishes the most innocent people – he criticises.
How did you escape?
It was a stroke of luck. While we were in a minefield, one of them exploded near the militaries, and it caused a big stir. I used the moment to run, flee terrified, without looking again and with all my strength, trying to have the minimum contact with the floor. I continued for hours and, when I thought that I was safe from them, I stopped. I saw an NGO’s car and I brought closer but then I treaded on what I couldn’t and, that’s why, I am limited to a wheelchair for the rest of my life. When I woke up, I was in a stretcher, being attended by people who seemed sick like you. And they had saved my life.
A stroke of luck? – I ask shocked.
Yes. You don’t know how difficult it is to escape from there. I met people who had been there for twenty years. I only spent three years. Three dreadful years looking at corpses harmless; puddle with a viscose fluid called blood; eyes scared because they know that dead stalked them; tear whom had a family that they left for dead; assassinations between brothers; seeing how the amount of my friends decreased; how people stayed in the ground without life, or without legs or arms with luck; detecting a spectre ghostly and powerful, known as dead. How beautiful would this world be without this that humans have created
How beautiful is peace
Ana Beatriz Felipe Robaina (16)
Student at CET Services