1. Ghere is currently in Germany awaiting his asylum decision. These are photos he shared with us from his journey through the Sahara in 2013.
2. 15 August 2013. Drinking from a river after we realised the water we had would soon be finished.
3. 16 August 2013. Sleeping in the outskirts of Khartoum, the day before we departed for the Sahara desert. The one on the left is me, in the middle is Yonas and to the right is Abraham.
4. Out of these five boys in the photo, I am in the one in middle. Amir, second from the left, was with me in the Sahara desert. He used to joke with me saying, “I am going to die but do not forget to write poems about me.” Unfortunately, he died soon after – drowned in the sea.
5. A poem written by Ghere dedicated to his friend Amir, who died during the journey.
Amirey, My Amir
I never knew when we journeyed together
That I was also a pen and a paper
Who would feed on your words
Rejoice in your smiles and
Immortalize your memory
In the Sahara Desert
Which made us hate the day we were born
I remember with a sigh
Your nice words and sweet laughter
Your fighting spirit filled with hope
Your brotherly love and compassionate heart
How can I forget you, my dear Amirey
I ran out of tears, my dear Amir
I couldn’t be consoled; it was too much for me
I couldn’t find words to express my grief
I just kept quiet with my heart bleeding
The jokes you used to tell me
Which made me laugh at the time
Now make my heart sad and fill it with pain
And it goes down my bowels to hurt my inner being
Life is cruel and knows no laughter
O My Amir, master of laughter
Pure of heart and nice to all
Didn’t you wish me a better future?
Then why did you choose a path to the grave?
The more I remember you, my dear Amir
The more my heart is burdened with sorrow
Do you remember in the Sahara Desert?
When you asked me to write you a poem
The time has now come to fulfill your wish
And although your eyes are shut
And your ears can hear no more
I still write you a poem, my dear Amir
Using my bitter tears for ink
Gere Habtom, 2013-11-05