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.

This poem is inspired by the second fire attack in Moria camp , where all the tents were burnt down and they all the residents had to stay on the streets. The condition became really horrible to all but not many stood for their rights .

The silence against the conditions of those more vulnerable than us, about those who become shelter-less after each accident in refugee camps has been screaming to Parwana to write about. She believes that everyone can stay silent , but should open their eyes to our reality, they should let themselves see the reality and then can decide whether they want to stay silent in the face of the hardships we bear.

Illustrated by Shukran Shirzad

As I, Shukran Shirzad am a refugee living in Moria, I was directly affected by the fire and this illustration is the real scene of thousands of refugees , who were leaving their tents and seeking safety , hopeless and depressed.

My wife and I could hardly save our life and I wanted to paint it, in order to show our reality. I witnessed the way we were treated by the authorities and we smacked as if we decided to be left in that condition , so it was really horrible to see the humans right organisations were silent ,how ever we were all suffering and are still suffering in this inhuman condition , when it’s rainy and we almost face the flood and in the winter.

You can stay silent , but …..

If we are burning , among the fire

If we are sinking, in the heavy rains

If we are fading, in enclosed camps

If we are waiting, for an unclear time


You can stay silent !

If we are children, with tousands of dreams

If we are young girls,hoping to become free

If we have male voice, full of power in veins

If we are pushed to stay in downright nights


You can stay silent!

If we leave our tents, when they burns down

If we live in shelters,even they sink under mud

If our children are starving,with no milk or food

If we are in temporary prisons, without freedom


You can stay silent

If there is no light,in darknesses of our nights

If there is no water,when we are quarantinized

If we must stay in lines, with tausands of people

If we must follow the injustices rules and laws


You can stay silent!

You can stay sillent, but imagine yourself ,if

You would be one of us , here in the camps

Listen our voice, even if it is repressed

You can stay silent , but do not pretend , if

You do not hear us,while we are calling ”help”