Story of Tiba -2
We walked in complete darkness. It was so cold. My brothers’ eyes were flooded with tears; their breath drowned in fear. My sister Zeinab and I pretended to be brave.
We were shocked when we met the Belarusian border guards. They beat my dad and took everything from us: water, food, money. They put a gun to my dad's head to keep him from moving and released dogs on my sister and me. We cried and ran and begged my dad for help, but he couldn't do anything. The dogs ran after us, and the soldiers laughed at us until my sister and I fell from exhaustion. They had no mercy.
After that, they ordered us to go to Poland. And we walked for a long time, in complete darkness, until we managed to reach the border and the Polish guards did the same. We heard screams: "Go back where you came from!". So, we stayed in the forest for a month in the cold. I can't give you all the details because a terrible feeling comes to me when I just think about it.
One day we encountered the Polish army. I was in shock. One soldier said to us, "Go. I can't see you." He raised his hand and added, "Go this way." And we went on, happy, we told ourselves, we were safe, and that everything was fine. Finally, we would reach Poland; the end is near and eternal peace awaits us.
We walked through the ice-cold swamps. My dad took the kids on his shoulders one at a time and crossed the swamps many times. My dad was exhausted; his legs were covered in blood. Yet, he endured the pain so that we would be safe faster. I do not wish anyone our terrible experience in the forest.
Going back to Iraq was not an option, so we continued walking for the next 10 days. As nights approached, we cried. I am terrified of the dark. We had no food or water. We were exhausted; we couldn't breathe. People from an organisation came to us and gave us water, food, dry clothes, and medical help. A day later, the media with an important person in Poland came to the forest. They took us somewhere for 8 days. Finally, dad told us that we would be safe and free in a few more days.