Abandoned at sea
Maymun and Mahamed's fled the civil war in Somalia with their families when they were children and found refuge in Ethiopia. They were the first in their families to receive a university education.
Yasmiin had a small restaurant in her home town in Somalia. One day she was kidnapped by some men and raped. After that she became ostracised in her community, people stopped talking to her and stopped coming to her restaurant. She could not stay there any longer and decided to leave Somalia, taking the smuggler route through Yemen and Sudan to Libya, hoping to reach Europe. She was imprisoned in Libya and eventually evacuated by UNHCR to Niger where she is waiting to be resettled.
“Of course they lied to us. The phone wasn’t working and the GPS device wasn’t working. We sailed for almost 18 hours. We didn’t know which direction we were taking, where we were going.” Wael and 200 other people were put on board a small wooden boat and abandoned in the middle of the sea.
She Speaks is an initiative that aims to amplify the voices of refugee women and girls who tell us, in their own words, the impact that COVID-19 has had on them. The videos also demonstrate their resilience and aspirations.
Nour left Yemen after the war broke out and went to Egypt to follow in the footsteps of his friends who had crossed the sea from there to Europe. Nour was told the sea route was open, so he took his chances to make a better life for himself and his family. His mother encouraged him to go, believing like Nour that he would board a ship from Alexandria that he’d work on during the journey.
“There were no drugs. There were two sick children and they didn't get any medicine or anything. Their mother was crying and pleading, Just take me back to Cairo! They refused. They said she’d stay until the others leave.” Omar and other people were kept at a farm by smugglers.
“Water was flooding in from the back and from the front, the sailor himself when we reached Malta said he knew the boat was sinking but didn't want to scare us. He asked us to remain quiet, and so we did, he told us the boat is safe, the boat is safe...” Hanan and Mohieddin were on board a small smugglers’ boat in the Mediterranean Sea when a storm blew up. They were rescued at the last minute. Watch their story!
Maryam is a young Somali woman who lost her family in the civil war. She was facing many problems and difficulties and decided to travel to Europe. She reached Egypt, and in Alexandria she boarded a smugglers’ ship.