A poem by Parwana Amiri

Parwana Amiri is an author, poet and activist from Afghanistan who is living in Greece since September 2019. Her poetry may seem softly written, but it contains hidden stories and bitter truths. With her work, she challenges the power of art and poetry to convey these bitter truths of the times.

Prawn has suffered since the first day that she arrived in Greece, not only from the physical condition, but also the impact of situation on Parwana has been intolerable. In the poem, I address all the parts of refugee’s problems in the camp: the situation of girls, women, children and all vulnerable people. Parwana wants to raise every repressed voice and give rights to the people who are stifled under unjust legislation.

Illustration by Shukran Shirzad

This illustration shows only the external of the camp I, Shukran Shirzad live in – only a part of how it looks like, but it can not show our pains. It does not show the way our dignity is repressed, but when we call the word tent as our shelter you can feel the way our everyday’s life pass. Each moment is a nightmare for us and each step is like a bridge we pass to survive

In the camps….

We are limited and repressed

We are enclosed and depressed

In makeshift summer tents

We are fading in Greek camps

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

Our children, while playing

Their shoes sink into

Mud and sewage water

This condition is suffocating

Girls are trapped in the tents

Their voices, their faces

Among wolves leering, in fear

For their integrity and honour

But, how long will we be here?

How long should we suffer?

With these little children

How long will we live in war?

In the camps, with no peace

Dignity, honour or respect

Far from our loved ones

If only we could be evacuated!