Finding peace, is hard on that island.
|As a twenty year old Mediterranean girl, I was walking on the street. Even though it was my birthday, I wasn’t excused from the chores of the house. Being a maid doesn’t mean that people will do everything so that you can spend your birthday in peace. Of course other girls in the kitchen helped me a lot but, having the day off completely is another thing.
I walked past the streets by the harbour. New ships were coming and going all the time. I was in a hurry to be able to go to the open market and buy the fresh fruits before they ran out.
British soldiers were all lined up in front of the Kyrenia Castle, wearing the same red uniforms, holding the same guns which pointed at the exact direction. I passed by them. None of them moved, or talked. I had no idea how they managed to survive, standing still all day long.
The apples were shiny, exported from Britain. There are some other fruits I had no idea what they were. Every day, something else was on the stalls, most of them were not natural to the islanders for those fruits were not grown on the island.
I bargained with the merchant. Between the girls, I was the one who had the bargaining skills so I was the one doing the shopping, which was fine by me because I loved having a breath of fresh air.
Later, my hands were full of packages, and I was having a hard time with my back. My family originally had a back-bone problem but mine had started too early because of the difficult chores I had to accomplish at home.
For some reason, I stepped into a crowd and got carried away. The harbour was full of people I didn’t know. In those little, stoned streets I’ve lost my way. The people around me were walking hustily to every location, carrying me here and there. Frustrated, I was on the point of shouting at the people who bumped into me.
A stranger’s hand pulled me aside. I was in an alleyway with a tall, black haired man.
“It’s not a wise idea to come out of the house at this time of the day young lady” he said with a bad accent.
I refused to say anything, putting my bags on the floor. People continued to walk without looking at us.
“Who are these people?” I finally found the courage to speak to the stranger.
“They are the Palestenian immigrants.”
“What are they doing here?”
“Britain’s been transfering illegal immigrants to work in the lead-mine.” He lowered his voice. “Not many know about it and you keep your mouth shut or no one sees you again. It happened to one of my friends” he added to confirm his threat.
“So if they are this much people how come no one talks about them. I mean it shows that they are not from around. Especially when you consider your language.”
“It wasn’t supposed to be like that. They were coming in twos and threes at the start so that no one knew about them. An officer did a terrbilme mistake and let nearly all of the immigrants to get on board. I am sure those officer wont be seen around where he lives anymore.”
“If I don’t talk, then someone else will. You work in the mines too?”
“Oh no, I’m an officer here. I am Palastenian but they needed someone to talk to the immigrants and solve their problems and that kind of stuff.”
“Why are you telling me all this?”
“Tomorrow big things are gonna happen. I want tomeone to know about this stuff before everyhting gets official and publicised. When things get out, it’s not always its true version.”
“What do you want me to do?”
“Nothing, just know about me. I have to go now. There’s a situation on the mine site. I have to go there.”
He left without any other word. When I get a hold on to my self, I picked up my packages and walked home thinking about the things he had said.
Next day, something did happen. Newspapers opposing to be a British colony wrote about the illegal immigrants on the island. The ones working for the government however said nothing about it as if it was usual to have things like that in a country.
The oppositing newspapers were shut down secretly in one day. The friends of the house I worked for were some sort of informants working for the government and it was easy to eavesdrop when it came to us, having already excelled at this job.
“They shut down another paper and arrested the journalists. People are still looking for the one who spread all this around.” Said someone I didn’t know.
“I still don’t get how they learned about it. The word shouldn’t have gone too far unless someone already told them.” My boss was worried, being a British landowner himsel had a couple of immigrants as I later learn.
“The Palestinians are rioting about the way they are treated by the mines. Someone must have helped them inside or it was impossible for them to gain this much strenght. Police is looking for accomplices and suspects from the opposition.”
No one knew about what happened next to the immigrants. One week later, the people were talking about what to cook or what to buy once again forgetting the inhuman scenes happening. This was the classic case here. I was even more interested than them, and I was Malaysian.
Not another word was seen on press about the arrests or immigrants. Only a small part was stating that a man, Hushein Mahmud was taken back to the mainland as a prisoner, being held on the charges of working against the Britain. As far as I gout out of the picture, it was the man whom I talked to.