“I haven’t been given a sign of life since the day he left. Not a phone call or text. Not even dead or alive. Nothing”
“Initially, he wanted to migrate the right way, he was trying and looking for opportunities in Europe and even waiting and preparing his Visas. That was his plan. But these guys (people he left with) came along and persuaded him to go illegally. They played with his head.”
“He prepared to leave in secrecy. He didn’t tell me. No one knew he was going. Until right before, when he told his dad and Robert, and we also found out. We begged him to stay and told him we’d make it work for you. We told him that we would work to get his papers and his Visa done so he can go the right way. But on the day that he left I had no clue. And when I found out it was too late.
“He was so adamant on leaving because of a few things. Firstly, he lived a very difficult childhood. He also felt like he had his back against the wall, with no way to make a living here successfully. Also seeing all his close friends leave made him give in to the peer pressure eventually. The unemployment was especially unbearable for him and his friends too. It made them go down a dark path consisting of excessive drinking. Alcohol and alcohol addiction had ruined our youth here. Tunisia is now number one in alcohol consumption amongst Arab countries.”
‘We are also first in rates of depression. It’s a sad reality. Many people don’t have anything to eat in the streets. Even vegetables are now increasingly harder to afford. With all these problems what other paths could he take? Of course, he is going to drink and smoke, and take pills. He numbs himself so he can get into even more trouble: stealing and robbing, so he can have food to eat. He is always medicated because he never wanted to feel the harsh realities while being in this country.”