“You can’t find returnees or deportees who can tell you their story,” says Abraham. “It’s like the dead who can never come back and tell about heaven.”
We are with Abraham, a high-spirited Eritrean refugee in his 20s, at a small Eritrean run NGO in Bologna.
Like many refugees, he departed Eritrea with limited knowledge of the journey which lay ahead of him. He left with the aim of getting to Khartoum, the major launch pad for refugees from the Horn of Africa heading to Europe via the Mediterranean. In Khartoum, Abraham, just like many others, would work to earn some money that would finance the journey.
While in Sudan, he heard of all the terrible things that befall those embarking for Europe via the Mediterranean. So he decided to try and make enough money to buy a passport in the black market which would subsequently enable him fly to Europe.
This, unfortunately, was not to be.
“My plan was to save money and leave Sudan in a safe way by plane,” says Abraham. “I was afraid of taking the Libyan route.”
“But I was forced to change my plans… because my brother came from Eritrea,” he explains.
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