A tragic humanitarian story in Sinai: Merhawit, totally disabled and still smiling

Merhawit 2

Wrote by: Hamdi Al-Azzazi on his face page, May 16,2017                                                            Source: Eritrean Humanity @eritreanhumanity (FACEBOOK)

Translation from Arabic 

This innocent childish face from Eritrea (Merhawit), 20 years old, her bad luck led her to a tragic end, and was destined to live the rest of her life paralyzed on a bed. Merhawit decided to leave Eritrea to any place in the world.

Her husband fled military service. He did not know when he would be released. He fled to search for a better life. He fled to seek freedom. Like any human being, he wanted to lead a dignified life, where no injustice, and oppression. The husband fled with his wife and they were newly married, they decided to leave together. They did not know where they would end – only escape and departure. Where? He did not know. The husband and wife are subjected to the same stories, so that the torture of the Eritrean people from this mafia has become an ordinary thing. Everyone hears of the gangs of crime and murder everywhere in the world. But what happens to Eritreans and Sudanese by the human trafficking gangs goes beyond any fictional stories heard by human beings.

The husband and wife paid all their gold, money, land and house, so that the full ransom would be paid for helping them to cross into Israel, the dream that everyone wants. They want to reach the promised paradise, the country of butter and honey, and this is not actually true, but it is a hell, where the many problems Eritreans experienced in Israel reveal the true face of this racist state, where the Jews are classified into classes, who is of Eastern European origin or Western European, or African Jews, not to mention black and white classification of non-Jews.

After the husband paid the ransom demanded by the trafficking gangs, the mafia carried a group of these men and women and ordered them to cross the barbed wire leading to the border with Israel very quickly and those who retreat from them will be shot. The husband and wife arrived with a group of young men and women after midnight to a logical area close to the border. The driver told them to cross the nets quickly. Some of them managed to cross the three lines of barbed wire along the border and some of them were stabbed. To the side of Israel, and the Israeli forces at the border killed three young men and wounded (Merhawit) with a gunshot in the back, causing her full paralysis. The husband crossed over to Israel and was arrested by the Israeli army. The Egyptian army transferred the bodies of the three men to the morgue of Al-Arish Hospital. Merhawit was also taken to Al-Arish Hospital to receive treatment and I was giving her the phone to call her husband in Israel to reassure her. I put it in her finger according to her request and she loved to laugh with me on every visit. This girl stayed on this bed for three whole months. She did not move. A wonderful woman working in a church in El Arish called Mimi used to come with me and another woman from my family alternately brought Merhawit in the bathroom, or showering, styling and cleaning her hair. These conditions has exposed her to back pain problems, and there may be unpleasant smells. We had to buy some kind of medical brushes that heat the brushes from under the patient. This does not lead to blisters in the skin, and the mattresses inflate like a balloon and get out of it. Heat absorbs skin sores when they appear on the back skin.

After a period of time, the Divine Providence was waiting for Merhawit to be transferred to the Coptic Hospital in Cairo for spinal surgery. The operation was performed with 70% success, and here is Merhawit moving slowly, asking God and praying for her full healing. I do not know where she headed to then.

I loved that girl with all my heart and whenever she laughed at me, when she saw me enter the room, I was laughing and crying at the same time. All this beautiful relationship for several months was through sign language or in the Eritrean language, which I do not understand well, but we did really believe that we understand some of humanity language that is not known to many of us.

Pray for Merhawit to heal and walk, and tell her, and I do not know where she is now, “I miss you so much Merhawit.”

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