Tag: <span>Poems</span>

Parwana Amiri Book Reviews

Parwana Amiri. We Will Fly Higher.

Featured Image: Photo by Pablo Heimplatz on Unsplash.

(London: Palewell Press. 2022, £9.99)

    Parwana Amiri is from Afghanistan.  In September 2019, she and part of her family reached Moria Refugee Camp on Lesvos, Greece. These poems are created from her experiences and insights. As she writes

     “I’m feeling these pains so deep

      In my bones, in my skin, in my soul

     The pains that wound my heart –

      Uncertainty, inequality, injustice,

      repression, suppression, humiliation.”

     Life in the refugee camp is very difficult.

     “In the summer, it is like hell

      In the winter, we live on mud

      We are exposed to cold, to wind

      Without even warm clothes…

      Protest is banned

      But tear gas allowed

      And we must just absorb it

      Where can we find freedom?”

     In addition to the difficulties of life in the overcrowded refugee camp, right-wing Greeks, whose battle cry was “reclaiming the islands” set fire to the camp which burned the tents in which most of the refugees were living.  The fire also burned what few belongings and souvenirs the refugees had.  As Parwana writes

     “In this fire

      We lost our hopes

      We lost our tents, our new homes

      Here in this host country, in its camps

      As we did in our country that we fled.”

     Nevertheless, Parwana speaks for many of the refugees who continue to struggle:

     “To survive, to breath

       To achieve our goals

       Not to stay in darkness “

     For Parwana, hope comes as more than just to survive.  There is a need  to start rebuilding with resilience and strength.  In lines which give the title to this strong collection of poems she writes:

     “So stay strong and be proud of your wings

      They are still open and need help

      You can help and we can be

      Free in the sky, not crushed upon the earth.”

  René Wadlow, President, Association of World Citizens.

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