“I was shocked today when I woke up and found out that it was already Friday. The truth is, as a refugee, you are hardly aware of the time or the days. It doesn’t matter if it is Saturday or Monday, or if it’s 7:00 a.m. or 9:00 p.m. Days look similar and so does the time. What matters is that each night and around 10:00 p.m., we know that our names will be listed for either a transfer, another hearing, or for any other purpose. People wait restlessly anxious about what comes next.”

— Journal entry, 2017

“Tomorrow we should get up so early, around 5:00 a.m., to be transferred to another camp called Budel, in the north. There will be a huge bus to collect us all. My mind goes to the young girl from Eritrea who came here alone. She was deported back. I couldn’t be sure what happened. She was in denial, she didn’t know either. The roads are too long, this silence in the bus kills me.”

— Journal entry, 2017

“’What did you take with you when you left Yemen?’I asked. ‘I took my documents, some clothes and some pain. Then the boat sank, the few clothes we brought were gone. What I rescued was my family, the documents and the pain’. In a failed attempt to wipe his sweat, he used his NGO commercial shirt and wiped his tears instead. His face was my sad song. I looked at his children. I’ve always been intrigued about how children react when their parents sob. I never liked seeing my mom in tears when I was a child. My bets are, they didn’t either..."

— Journal entry 1/2, 2019

“Anyway I woke up this morning with a terrible headache. The headache comes and goes and so does the face of that man. He showed me his old photos. He was a fine man in the past. His hair was a perfect mop of black and he had the looks of one who had just woken up to a spring morning. Now, he writes poems on Taiz; the city that he no longer recognizes. Taiz is where he grew up, got married, had his children and the city he escaped from.”

— Journal entry 2/2, 2019