NEWS FROM THE JUNGLE 

Voices #13: Mawda

Following the recent and tragic killing of two-year-old Mawda; member of a family the Women's Centre have regular and close contact with, a long term volunteer reflects on what she remembers of Mawda's last day, and acknowledges anger and contempt towards conditions that manifested such tradgedy.

Members of the Kurdish community, volunteers and local residents came together to honour Mawdas life and protest her untimely death Saturday 26/05/18.

A local gymnasium in Grande- Synthe opened as a shelter following a snow storm last December, and at times housed around 400 refugees. This room was designated to families. One week following Mawdas death all refugees were evicted from the Gymnasium ( 24/05/18).

The ghost of a gymnasium built for one purpose, prioritised for another A shelter The stagnant stalemate between a closed past and future dreams refugees wrestlesly resting on donated blankets talking liquidly lying down aimlessly breathing in air as border-less as she Maryam Scrubbing clothes in the communal bathroom sink She flicks eyes to her babies fumbling around at her feet knees soggy fingernails etched with dirt Guilt bangs it's fists on the metal bars of her heart as it swells with love, nearly breaking them apart but not quite love will set us free but how can we live freely with borders as tight as these? That force us to suffering, sacrifice and hostility She has to save face, keep pace And when her daughter's a doctor

and her son's running some company You'll tell them of the violence they were forced to flee And they'll be thankful, because they've relished their education and opportunity Recentre. As the sunshine of her children's giggles draw her back to the room A smirk pulls at the side of her lips and in one swift motion Maryam lifts her girl to her hips Who bursts spirited laughter That almost drowns the fight erupting in the next room She's packing her bag now It's been three years since they first heaved up their roots for selection, which part of our tapestry makes the cut? And with the bag of bare essentials in tow they leapt towards the sunset only to be left in the dark she folds their clothes with stories unsung and hope that this night blows chance into the lungs of their life for a future not so futile They leave to meet the smuggler A family - two children, two adults. slumped with thirty souls in the van. Sirens. peddle flat. Tyres hiss. Fear bubbles vomit in chest, hyperventilating Hearts plummet, paralysed fingers twitch. shots fired. piercing screams have you heard how this story ends? with a police officers bullet in a two year olds head no passport, no rights her blood stains our hands her blood stains our society our hearts our land When the systems that raise us, teach us we are unequal when the lottery of birth conceives a world inequitable We face everyday pulling the hand of justice from a pocket of pain Using the fire of our anger to melt the frozen glaze of brutal borders, inhumane policy. Negligence. Unclaimed responsibility She was born a refugee, and died a refugee. Stolen from her family, her youth, her life trajectory And with tear stained cheeks and weary eyes We march on In solidarity and love, we march on. We will never forget you, Mawda.