It is middle of the day, the sun is warm and scorching. The subway is stirring en route for Hungary and it is full of down-headed, exhausted pedestrians walking desperately towards Hungary’s subway station where they could take a train to Europe.
Ali the nine-year-old small boy among them is holding his father’s hand and walking on the subway and continuously asking his father that when they will arrive camp. His father does not speak and has no answer. He himself does not know. His eyes have been filled with tears as his son’s questions are not stopping. He wants to shout out and cry but can’t, at least here in front of his son among all many other immigrants.
He is tired of life and hesitated about bearing these much difficulties for reaching the Europe. But looking at his son, he gets hope and becomes determined to pass all the harsh way to Europe. It is 12 noon still hunger is mounting and they didn’t take their breakfast, too. Ali has no more energy to walk and continuously asks his father to stay at the side of subway for a moment. He knows that there is no water to drink and no food to eat. His father pretends not hearing any words and takes his son by his arms and puts him on his back and continuous their way. He starts telling classic stories for his boy to make him fall asleep or forget his tiredness, thirst and hunger for a moment. They both hurry to get first to the camp so they would be able to catch a bus or a train.
It has passed two hours since they have arrived the camp, and now it is two-thirty in the afternoon and the temperature has reached its highest level of degree in the day. Hundreds of people are standing and pushing each other towards the metal netted wall which from the other side of it Hungarian soldiers throw bottles of water to the thirsty newly arrived immigrants. Immigrants rush and are hit by police’s barrels and exposed to tear gas. Ali’s father, however, gets one. Immigrants are hungry too but from their bad chance, the only thing they receive is biscuit. The boy lays in his father’s lap and both of them desperately wait for a bus to arrive and take them to a subway station. But he knows that it would not happen as there are immigrants waiting here for many weeks. The sun is going to disappear slowly. The sun seems to be poor and is partnered with the calm and woeful immigrants. Weather is changing and from the hot and burning mid-day now it is going be a very cold and freezing night. Yet immigrant with only having a few summer clothes will face much difficulties. Ali holds his father closely as the weather gets colder and colder.
It is now dark, they are holding each other and unintentionally moving their eyes to the surroundings. Sometimes they are looking at each other and transfer the unsaid talks and thoughts about their uncertain future, no one asks and no one answers. Ali falls asleep but again opens his eyes. As weakness overcomes him, he Half-awake and half-asleep sees beautiful scenes and pictures. He is walking in the yard of a grassy school with his friends. His mom is studying in a literary school. On the other side, his two sisters are studying in their favorite faculty and besides have a part-time job in a factory. As he walks on the park sees his father at the side of the road waiting for him and waving him to get on the car. He says good-bye to his friends and wants to ride on the car… suddenly he wakes up as he feels sharp pain in his foot. A soldier smashes his foot, then hears him yelling on immigrants and disappearing in the dark. He breathes hardly, and hopes his dreams were a reality. He puts back his head on his father’s lap and looks to the different ethnic people from different nationalities. Once his eyes turn to the sky and see the blinking stars and their wide world and thinks how free and shining they are.
Afterwards he can’t fall asleep, he remembers his last days of journey being traveled by human-smugglers from Iran to the border of Turkey and lastly there. He is haunted by journey’s harsh and bold memories and one by one passes them through his mind. He remembers Iranian soldiers shooting at immigrants and women who had lost their children and relatives. Iranian soldiers with the majority of Kurdish people at Turkey-Iran border are so violent and fierce that even they hit the old women who were crying for their dead sons. He remembers the night they were prisoned in a 3×۴ room with around sixty other people and being called sheep. He also could not forget the hunger they had suffered from and having no place to sleep. He would cry for the way soldiers had behaved him and his companions.
He worries about his future and the future of his family and his companions and where will the fate take them and how they could reach their family and live freely. He feels lonely and cold and holds his father’s hand tighter as he lays his head on his lap. He asks himself what if he had been in a warm room with some hot tasty food for eating.
He had lived in Iran for many years, in fact he was born in a country where he had to pay double of fee for studying at school, and always he was discriminated by classmates, teachers and even his neighbors. He was used to hear his friends call him ‘Toilet Cleaner’s Son’. He was not alone, his sisters and his whole family were also bearing such a severe and oppressed life. Even worse his two sisters were banned from school as they had finished primary school. The problem with them was that their father was not born in Iran and originally was from Afghanistan, although he and his family had lived there for almost twenty years.
They could not return to Afghanistan, too. Long years ago when the Soviet Union occupied Afghanistan and the war started, they lost each and everything. They craved of hunger, their children could not go to school and lived in fear and terror. One day things got worse and a rocket hit their home and their elderly 18-year old boy died.
They did not want to return to Afghanistan. They did not want their children live in fear and be deprived of knowledge and education. They did not want to lose anymore their family members and especially the only remaining boy, Ali.
They wanted a place where they could live in peace and feel calm, where they could live freely and like a human being. They wanted a place where no more their two sisters were banned from school and no more Ali was discriminated for being an Afghan and being called the son of a ‘Toilet Cleaner’. Ali and his father had packed their suit to get to the Europe and paved the way for the rest of their family.