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15/11/2017 15:56 PM


Dedicated to Ciham A. Abdu – The youngest prisoner in Eritrea
“She is one of the rare ones, so effortlessly herself. And the world loves her for it.” Atticus

by Kiki Tzeggai


Dear Ciham:

Soon another anniversary behind bars. So often you have watched the rain and the rainbow born from it from your prison’s window. You cast your favorite color and try to keep your heart steady. I wish I could take each color of the rainbow and place them in your hair. I wish I could braid your hair like I did with my own daughter. I would ask you to close your eyes and think about places you could visit. College campuses you could walk.

I want to tell you that there is hope in the dark and your life will never settle in a cage. The horror of your heart is causing flames in ours.

The little girl you are with hope in your veins and a hurricane in your mind, knows how to hold on in that lonely place. I want you to believe that you will shatter that cage they try to build around you. As you did for years now.

Ciham, at any given moment tell yourself that this is not the way your story will be. In this world filled with lies, you are honest. In this life filled with fear, you are the courageous one. We see who you are and we are inspired by you. You are the one that rebuked tyranny and we are better because of you.

Courage is silent most of the times. It is your quite voice telling us “Please come and take me home. I will be here tomorrow.”. Courage does not roar most of the times, but rather obliges respect. When your young mind is in despair, know that you are the girl born from all of us. You are the lesson we experience. You are the laughter to your friends. The arguments with your parents. The chats as a child. You are – Ciham dear- the warmth to strangers. You give hope to cracked hearts. You make bitter politics a music to get along. Your smile is the emotions we are short of words to convey. You are the force that splinters glasses to make us hear the sharp sound in our ears. The uninterrupted movement of a ballerina trapped in a music box. You are the absence in our directions. Every road we take, every corner we turn to, you are the sun. You are the breath of the wounded; the life between our hearts and our minds. You are the book we have not written yet. The word we wished we could say to get you back in our arms. The hug we long to.

You purify the bitter taste of this chapter. Because your smile is all we keep in our sleeves and in the wings of each rainbow. You are our connection across time.

All these moments you are to Eritrea.

In that jail they have placed you for years, know that when you are between dreams and awake we are there with you.

In this one - Princess - you are the one that help herself. And saves us. Be strong.

We always love you.

We know your solitude in jail is crowded with loneliness.

Kiki Tzeggai
November 14, 2017

"Of all the forces that make for a better world, none is so powerful as hope. With hope, one can think, one can work, one can dream. If you have hope, you have everything."

" Peace is a wall we will all create by building it brick-by-brick together". (Trade mark)

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See also Related:

• Fate of American Citizen Unknown After Four Years in Eritrean Prison

Saleh Younis talk on Eritrea human rights

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