When the war in Yemen broke out, Omar and his family fled first to Aden, and then to Egypt. Omar found work in a warehouse, but he and his brother were dreaming of going to Europe to build a better future. They contacted a smuggler, who took them to Baltim by the sea. There, they stayed at a farm with many other people, waiting for their turn to board a boat. The conditions were horrible. They had very little food, the water was undrinkable, there was no medicine for those who got sick. A Somali man became unconscious and nobody cared.
“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.” He says.
After several weeks, they were finally taken to the beach, but still had to wait in a shed until it was their turn to depart. Two groups left before them, and they heard that one of the boats had capsized at sea. Before Omar and his group had the chance to board, border guards spotted them, they were arrested and taken to jail. Today, Omar is advising others not to travel with smugglers, it can mean death. He is still wondering what happened to those who got sick at that horrible farm and did not get any medicine or care.
“I advise people who intend to travel irregularly that it’s not worth it. You can die during the process. Look at the Somali who was with us. God knows what happened to him.”