Daughter of the Sea: a touching story about the Syrian girl Meena written by the Turkish politician Demirtaş
«Daughter of the Sea» is a short story written by Selahattin Demirtash; a politician, member of the People’s Democratic Party of Turkey, parliamentary deputy. He is of Zaza descent (Iranian nation). Demirtash is one of the active fighters for the democratic Turkey, for equality of rights and freedom. As of November, 2016 he is in prison for his active oppositional activities. This notwithstanding, on May 13 of this year his candidacy to run for president in the upcoming elections on June 24th was approved. The story”Daughter of the Sea” was written by Demirtash while in custody.
My name is Meena. Two months ago my mother and I took to the road from the city of Hama, Syria. My mother wound her hands around me. And she would not let me out of her arms on the road. Sometimes we were walking, sometimes taking the buses, and sometimes the dusty trucks. There were many holes on the roads. We drove, bouncing on the road all the time. But my mother was with me all the time. People were talking a lot on the road. Some of them were crying. I was crying too, because my father was killed in Hama. Why he was killed, I do not know, but my mother was crying a lot and I was crying along with her.
Our road was too long. One day two boys and an old man died on the road. People made graves for them and buried them. They made small graves for the boys. The mothers of these boys cried heavily and did not want to let their children go. But people dragged them from the graves and said that we needed to leave already.
When we made it up to a certain place, everyone was happy, but then we were told that we would go to the seacoast at night and there get aboard. But my mother was told that she would not go. My mother implored them. She then took three bracelets from her hand gave them to those men, and they said «Ok, you will also come with us».
We do not have a sea in the village. I have never seen a sea in my life, neither has my mother. At night when we got aboard, we did not see the sea again. Men helped us to get aboard. There were many people, my mother wound her arms around me and would not let me out. The men said: «Hold tight, aboard!» and my mother hugged me even stronger. Our ship wallowed heavily on the waves, but I could not see the sea in the dark. Then the water flooded the ship, the salty water covered my face. I got sick because of the salt. The older women started to pray, and so did my mother. Do not be afraid of anything, told me my mother. We almost made it, we will get through this. I was not afraid of anything. The salt got to my eyes, but I almost did not cry. It is a very severe storm, said the men. Everyone was screaming and trying to stay on board. And then our ship sank.
We did not have a sea in our village, only a small stream. The fish was swimming fast in the stream. In fact our stream was not that small at all. The trees grew on the bank of it. One day my father made me a swing on these trees. Our house was next to the stream. My mother made me a doll from old socks. But I lost it on the road. Our house was very beautiful.
When the boat started to sink, we were all flopping about in the water. My mother cuddled me tightly in her arms. As we did not have a sea in our village, we did not know how to swim, neither did my mother. Consequently my mother and I went to the bottom of the sea. My mother wound her arms around me tightly. And the water was so salty, that it burnt my throat. I wanted to say to my mother «Do not be afraid», but I could not. My mother was not afraid anyways, she was only looking at me. We never got out of the sea.
My name is Meena. I am five years old. Two months ago we took to the road from the village of Hama. We had never seen a sea from outside. We are at the bottom of the sea all the time. I am the daughter of the sea, of the Mediterranean Sea. The sea has become my mother. She has wound her arms around me tightly and will not let go, because all the mothers love their daughters very much.