Book No. 16 – In The Sea There Are Crocodiles

27 Oct

“In The Sea There Are Crocodiles” is a novel based on the true story of an Afghani boy whose will for survival is remarkable. He was born in Afghanistan where he lived with his mother, father, sister and brother. His father was killed by The Taliban who later began threatening to kill Enaiatollah and his other siblings. His mother feared for his life, so at the age of 10 she took him across the border to Pakistan in the hopes that he would make a better life for himself there. He was too young to fully comprehend what was going on and then one day he woke up and his mother had gone. She was returning home to take care of her other two children and Enaiatollah was left to fend for himself. He began working at a hotel in exchange for food and a place to sleep but later was offered a job selling random items on the street corners. He did whatever he needed to do to survive. After working in Pakistan and having bad encounters with the corrupt police officers, he decided that he wanted to leave Pakistan and go to Iran. So him and a couple Afghan boys crossed the border together in the hopes of finding better work opportunities. Iran wasn’t much better than Pakistan but he did manage to find work there in construction with many other illegal immigrants. Many times the police came and forced all the illegals to be loaded onto a bus and dropped back off at the Pakistani border. If they were lucky they could pay the police off and would be set free. Continuing his search for a better life he crossed the border into Turkey and eventually, Enaiatollah ended up in Greece where he was thrown in jail for stealing food. He was held there for 3 days before being released and with the help of a selfless Greek woman, he was given food, clothes and a train ticket to Italy. In Italy he reconnected with a boy he grew up with in Afghanistan and that boy helped find him a foster family and apply for asylum, which he was granted two years later. Its really an amazing and eye opening story. Often when we think of Afghanistan we think of The Taliban, Osama Bin Laden, Al Qaida and September 11th. We understand the effect Afghanistan has had on our country and the people in our country but we overlook the struggles the people living in that country and the surrounding countries are dealing with. This boy was left to make it on his own at the age of 10… TEN years old. It is scary to think people have to live in such a corrupt and evil place with unfair law enforcement and cruel punishment for doing things that you and I do every day here in The U.S. They are punished for having their hair too long, their beards too short, or simply saying the wrong thing. Can you image living a life where you are constantly looking over your shoulder and wondering if today is the last day you will see your children? As Americans, I feel that we are ignorant in the fact that we associate all Afghans, Iranians, and Iraqis with being terrorists. We are selfish in the fact that we don’t show concern or offer aid for the thousands of people who are suffering because of their corrupt government. This story sheds some light on what so many families have to go through over there. Family members die left and right, they are separated from each other, sold into slavery or forced to work for the Taliban because if they don’t, their other family members will be murdered. And here we are, us Americans, taking all that we have for granted. Taking our families for granted, our safety, our education and our resources. Enaiatollah’s school was shut down by The Taliban when he was still living in Afghanistan and The Taliban shot his teacher right in front of him and all of his classmates. He didn’t go to school and didn’t speak to his family for 8 whole years. Finally, when he reached Italy and was granted asylum, he started going to school and is now in college and working to send money back to his family who are now living in Pakistan. He has struggled and overcome much hardship, but he made it through. He survived. Most of us are capable of overcoming so much more than we would ever think possible. So remember this story next time you feel like you can’t go on, next time you reach a breaking point… and remember that you can get through anything life throws your way. And always remember how blessed you are and how many opportunities you have.

“Promise me you’ll always remember: You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.” -Christopher Robin to Pooh

Xo.

Taylor Jordan

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