Mourn! Never Forget! Never Give In!



Carrying the box with the remains of Wasim's family to the ferry.

Carrying the box with the remains of Wasim’s family to the ferry.


Today, in Athens, Wasim Abo Nahi will bury what remains of his wife Lamees, his baby daughter Layan and his infant son Uday who were killed on Samos island (Greece) in July 2013.

He has waited 10 months for the Greek state to release these remains. 10 months of torture for Wasim.

A family was wiped out because they did not have the right papers. Palestinian refugees in Syria are able to get passports but they are worthless. The pages say that Wasim is able to travel anywhere in the world. It asks he be helped and assisted when in need. It is all lies. It is a passport to hell.

Lamees, Layan and Uday we mourn and remember today. They join millions of others who have been killed by a system which has no humanity for the overwhelming majority of the people of the world. Most of these millions are buried with no names on their graves. For the system you counted for nothing but for us, we will never forget you.

As we cry with Wasim today let us listen to the wisdom of the Zapatista’s:

“What do we say to [Lamees, Layan and Uday] who, in whatever corner of the world below, are buried in oblivion?
That only our pain and rage count?
That only our outrage means anything?
That as we murmur our history, we don’t hear their cry, their scream?
Injustice has so many names, and provokes so many screams.
But our pain and our rage do not keep us from hearing them.
And our murmurs are not only to lament the unjust fall of our own dead.
They allow us to hear other pains, to make other rages ours, and to continue in the long, complicated, tortuous path of making all of this into a battle cry that is transformed into a freedom struggle.
And to not forget that while someone murmurs, someone else screams.
And only the attentive ear can hear it.
While we are talking and listening right now, someone screams in pain, in rage.
And so it is as if one must learn to direct their gaze; what one hears must find a fertile path.
Because while someone rests, someone else continues the uphill climb.
In order to see this effort, it is enough to lower one’s gaze and lift one’s heart.
Can you?
Will you be able to?”

May 30th 2014


3 responses »

    • A good question with no easy answer.

      However, what we can say is that when we were in Athens meeting and talking with refugees we were taken aback by how little contact there was between the refugee communities and groups/organisations/ concerned individuals etc. It would be great to see more contact and inter-action where people like yourself simply went out to meet refugees, talk with them, have a coffee and listen to their stories and who knows where that will lead to….
      The refugee centre – steki – in exarcheia is a wonderful place with a bar etc and would be one place where you can guarantee a welcome and be able to meet and talk with refugees.

      • Thank you for the suggestion… I think many of us here in Athens see what is happening, but feel totally helpless (especially if we are foreigners ourselves – but lucky enough to be from the “good” countries). We talk to our children, to our friends, … but we do nothing. The only refugees I see are those at traffic lights and outside supermarkets – but the lack of a common language means that we smile and wave at each other – but never know the whole story!
        I have never been to exharchiea… but maybe its time to discover new parts of Athens!

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