The sold Dream 14
After the rest and the shower and getting dressed, I felt like a princess. We were then taken to the mall for a meal. It’s been so long since i’ve been shopping that I can barely remember what a mall looks like. Those scents of coffee and the aromas from the restaurants as we passed by, reminded me of something I knew long ago. We passed by a toy store and the kids begged us to take them inside. The lady that was accompanying us told the kids they could choose one teddybear each. Mahi had never been into a shopping mall and a toy shop of this size was nothing short of heaven. In the rural community she comes from people are poor and hardly ever went into the next village let alone cities. Her eyes lit up and she asked me whether she was dreaming.
After we managed to tear both the kids and ourselves away from the toy shop we began to make our way to the food court. I asked the lady if the food was Halaal because I felt like I could do anything for a burger and fries at this point (yes we all have our guilty pleasures, and somehow no matter where in the world we’re from we all seem to eat the same comfort food). The lady was super nice to us and made a quick detour before lunch allowing us all to buy one item we really wanted or needed. Suddenly I felt uneasy, my gut told me to take Mahi and run, you know what they say about when things feel to good to be true. I scolded myself, had I become so accustomed to hate and pain that I had forgotten kindness exists? I chose to listen to my head since it made more sense at this moment.
We were browsing in the clothing stores along the way. For the first time we were not restricted and could enter any store we wanted, unlike at home where some shops Buddhist stores refused to sell to Rohingya. I thought of Ayesha and how she would love this and I felt a tinge of guilt because the day had almost passed and I had not really thought of her or said my afternoon prayers.
That moment made me feel low because in the midst of my darkest hour I would pray to the lord of the worlds and yet in my moments of solace I can’t seem to remember to thank him. Yes my creator is kind and my religion is more a way of life and here I am forgetting that. Then I teared up as I remembered a verse of the Qur’an asking Which of your favours of your lord would you deny?
The guilt washed over me as my lord has given me courage, strength and patience. I cannot blame him for mans greed but I can thank him for always giving me the strength to go on.
After lunch we climbed onto the bus. Everyone was chatty and happy and we shared what we enjoyed the most about the mall and how good it felt to do ‘normal’ things again. The children held their teddy bears close and I held my book. It was called the Manuscript found in Accra and although I had no idea what it was about the middle pages captivated me. I ran my hand up and down the cover and I was overwhelmed. I am alive. I made it!
The nameless lady told us to tidy up as we were to meet our buyers. Buyers I asked? Everyone looked around puzzled and asked each other what she meant. She smiled reassuringly and told us to relax. She was our generous benefactor of course she had our best interests at heart. I knew something wasn’t quite right and my heart sank as every possible scenario played out in my mind , from all the stories we had heard back home , ‘buyers’ was an ominous word. I stood up and in my heart I began to pray, ‘Oh Lord this is not you, this is mans greed, protect us!’ My voice cut into the silence that has descended on the bus and I asked her if we were slaves? She did not reply. I shouted and begged. How could she do this to us ? Wasn’t she Rohingya? Didn’t she know our plight?
She slapped me hard across the mouth, I fell backwards and she laughed. She asked no one in particular who would pay for this new life we all hoped? She told us humanitarian aid was scarce and the world did not give a shit about us. She said we should have known after living in the IDP camps that nothing was free.
Then silence fell and for the first time since this journey began the silence was deafening. Our smiles were replaced by fear and I hated how the others just accepted life like blind sheep not questioning anything. I held Mahi and told her that the worst thing in the world was not watching people burnt alive or even the boat trip. The worst thing was the modern day slavery we would be subjected to. In my mind I wondered where were the human Right groups were and how it wad that with all these international laws so many of us still ended up slaves. Where is the media? Where is the UN? Was it like drugs, where no one cares as long as money is being circulated? Was my dream of freedom turning into a nightmare about slavery?
Let take a moment and say a prayer for Rohingya. Share this blog and don’t forget to vote for it for the South African blog awards
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by mumtaz saley