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Le Monde de L'Écriture » Encore plus loin dans l'écriture ! » Textes non francophones » Children of Eritrea

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Hors ligne Humoramor

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Children of Eritrea
« le: 30 janvier 2018 à 10:55:43 »
Hey! I tried to translate one of my writings in English. I would be happy to get some feed-backs and corrections :-)


“- Where do you come from, Sarah?”


I come from this country where one knows his owns through the failed handset of a telephone. Where a father's embrace is science fiction and that of a mother, broken. Where the young people only talk about “going out”, but not out loud, because to be heard is also to be silenced forever. In my country, life rhymes with departure, but this one never can be prepared. One lives without living, one arms oneself without being defended, one serves a country while dreaming of elsewhere, and then one day one notices that this is been going on for too long.

First you grow up, surrounded by your sisters, your aunts, your mother. You live on what is not taken away from you, and you don't need to understand why men hide, and why one day or the other they will “go out”. Or they have already left to “learn the discipline” and to better shoot those who leave. It is the same for women, unless a marriage or childbirth spares them. My land is sick. The parasite takes root, but forgets to let it breathe. And it is all his cells that, little by little, get destroyed. One day you watch, one night you try your luck. And you don't care if it doesn't work. In any case, you'd rather decide to die than have your future torn away by someone other than yourself. The future. We all know that word which means hope, even in an oppressed world. I believe that God was the first one who taught me to pray no matter what happens, to seek salvation in my faith, in my interior, rather than in my country, in my land.

Grade 12 takes place at the military camp of Sawa. At night, in the dark, your big brother talks. “I'm not going to do Sawa, I'm going out, it's decided.” And you don't know if it's really the clay walls that have ears, or if it's chance, but the next day they come looking for him. There's always someone that will send a child to warn you. “Haben! Haben! They're here for the giffa! Go to Grandma's!" And Haben starts running, without saying goodbye, while as for many, this time it is the last you will see his face.

A woman here once asked me: “But with all the people who die trying, how can you still take such risks?”. I smiled politely, I didn't say anything. In my heart, I thought “Because at least if you die, no one can stop you from living”.

In my dark earth, there is no life. Not of those you call freedom, anyway. My own land didn't offer me anything. Murdered that she was, because of all these years getting her blood pumped. But I love her, though. Broken, as much as I am.

When I was sixteen, I was introduced to the man who was going to be my husband. Yonas. A local man I grew up with. My father was the first one who, exiled for so many years, said to me: “You are going to marry Sarah, and one day your husband will go out. It will be difficult. But maybe one time you'll see the light on the other side of the border.” However, before time even allowed us to learn to live together, they came for him. I never knew when he was with them, imprisoned, or sent to the front. But was there only a difference? Even if he “went out”, I wouldn't know. The exile journey always takes place in complete silence. Don't wake up your headsman, especially when the neck revealed, you pass him by.

And then violence. “Where's your husband, bitch? He's gone, you know it! You're going to come with us and you're going to tell us everything, or else you’ll see!”. One day. Only one day I stayed in this room of all the horrors, answering questions whose answers I did not know. One day. But already my heart, like my land, began to bleed. And then they let me go. Instead, they took my little brother, my love, my heart, my soul. It was his turn to do Sawa. But he, unlike Haben, did not have time to observe. To try his luck. To “get out”. And to run away.

“- Sarah?
- Medhanie? Are you okay, Medhanie?
- Sarah... promise me! Here you must never come!
- What?
- Sarah. It's not a world for a woman. I'll let them kill me a hundred times before they take you here. And I'll kill myself a hundred more times if you come. Go away, Sarah. Don't wait to hear from Yonas and leave!”

Fear. Who invades my guts. Medhanie, my love, my heart, my soul. What did he see in Sawa? What did they do to him? When the decision is made to “go out”, it is never prepared. We find the first smuggler, sell our jewelry and leave. He'll know where to go. Five hours walking in the dark between the trees, fear in the stomach, stomach in the legs. Gunshots, front, rear, all around. You can't even tell them apart from those who resonate in your heart. Medhanie, my love. What about you? What about my sisters? Saving myself, but for whom? Suddenly the forest opens up, the plain clears. Here it is at last this country, which after so many years of war against my land, finds itself to be a refuge for my salvation. The smuggler says to me one last time: “Keep going straight. Nothing can happen to you anymore”. Sweet illusion, that to believe that it is enough to “go out” to save oneself. But essential to move forward.

In May Aini, I found brothers and sisters, of earth and blood. Three years long, I catch my breath. Once a week, at the camp's sizzling phones, my father would give me news of my family. Overcoming thus, from his exile, the walls that stood between us all. “Wait here, Sarah, I'll get you to Europe, I know someone”. And then, one day, I got a call from Italy. At the end of the line, Yonas's broken voice - never forgotten, though. Two years and more than four thousand kilometres separating us. “There's nothing here, Sarah”, he told me. “Nothing for you”. Twice, he came to see me. But time had dug a trench between us. He was stressed, unhappy, his European dream shattered. He had seen too many deaths in the sea to believe in the living. “Sarah, never cross the desert. Wait here, no matter what”.

But after some time, I wondered. How to live in an enemy country? How could I trust those who, yesterday, stabbed me in the back? And how could I stay so close to my land without ever being able to hear the broken voice of my mother? Finally, it was a new hope from Germany that answered my questions. Counterfeit wedding papers. My father said to me: “You're going to join a smuggler in Berlin. He'll explain the rest to you”. And hundreds of thousands of dollars circulating between Israel, Africa, Europe, Canada, Africa again. Sometimes they make us move forward. Sometimes back off. But they are always exchanged in fear and hope, in violence and comfort.

I come from this country where one knows his owns through the failed handset of a telephone. Where the embrace of a father remains science fiction and that of a mother, always broken. She who stays in the back while her sons cross the most horrible sea. While many of her daughters get lost long before the desert.

I come from this land where those who save you are also those who condemn you. One year after my departure, Medhanie disappeared 13 kilometres from the Italian coasts. No one to hold his body and to bless his last breath. Medhanie, my love, my heart, my soul. The money that brought me here is also the money that got you killed. Break up these families, break up this land. Always go out, no matter what. To seek life, beyond dunes and salt water. And so much the worse if instead we find death.


You wanted to know my story. Here it is now before you. I am a woman who, like so many others, has risked her life and that of her own family, to perhaps one day reach a land in which her children can find even the last bit of hope.
"Elle se moque de mourir. C'est vivre qu'elle veut. Et ce qu'elle veut, elle l'aura." - Alessandro Baricco, Océan Mer

Hors ligne Michael Sherwood

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Re : Children of Eritrea
« Réponse #1 le: 20 janvier 2022 à 08:15:16 »
Hello Humoramor,

Le titre m'a attiré. L'histoire est forte, parle des tragédies actuelles, en Somalie, en Erythrée, en Ethiopie, même Djibouti, pays ravagés par l'instabilité politique, les divisions selon des lignes tribales et claniques, les régimes autoritaires, les régimes corrompus, les dictatures militaires, les shebab islamiques.
Souvent la seule issue pour s'en sortir est l'exil individuel dans l'espoir de faire vivre une famille restée derrière. Et il faut rassembler des dollars, vendre des terres, compter sur ceux  qui sont déjà installés en Europe, au Canada, puis s'en remettre à la merci des Soudanais, des Libyens sans humanité qui en ont fait leur business, passeurs d'esclaves des temps modernes.
Mais c'est une impitoyable loterie, le parcours est chaotique, il peut durer un mois comme des années, la chance, la malchance, la mer fait le tri, les pays d'accueil de moins en moins accueillants.

Bon, pour l'anglais, on sent bien que ce n'est pas un natif qui écrit, mais en gros on comprend !
Je pense que j'aurais utilisé "you" plutôt que "one" au 1er paragraphe, comme tu l'as fait par la suite.

Une phrase : “You are going to marry Sarah" ; je pense que tu veux dire "Sarah, you are going to marry. / Sarah, you're going to get married.
Et si on veut garder l'ordre : "You're going to get married, Sarah." car le père s'adresse ici à sa fille, non à l'homme qui deviendra le mari.

Keep up the good work  8) !

It's not because you're paranoid that they aren't after you.


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