Monday, May 12, 2014

Remembering Their Voices

Today, I am raising awareness to a crime so inconceivably heinous, I had no choice but to submit to my own heart’s magnetism and morbid mourning of the unimaginable.  I am sure you have heard about the abduction of over 200 young girls from a school in Nigeria.  If you haven’t, I invite you to open your ears, eyes and heart to their cries and longing to be found and returned home to their loved ones.
Child abductions and human trafficking have both had huge impacts on the nature of my meandering mind and ultimately; my writing.  My novel, which I will be seeking representation for, is centered on an abduction case which actually happened within this country. 
Although my story was not based on the same criminal act, it just so happens the real kidnapping and murdering of a nine year-old, little girl had similarities extremely close to my own plot and even occurred three weeks after I began writing the story.  When I discovered the article on Google news one morning this past February, tears eroded my heart… flooding my eyes with anxiety, sadness and despair.  I couldn’t believe the connections between the article and my novel… right down to the last name of the little girl and the town where she was abducted.  I have since changed the last name of the character in my manuscript as well as the town she was taken from.
We don’t hear their voices when they scream.  Out of sight… and unfortunately… out of mind.  But I’m making a stronger effort now, more than ever, to concentrate and hear their distant cries; their shouts of pain, suffering, frightening alienation and feelings of cold, hopelessness, and utter destitution.  There is no light at the end of the dark tunnels of the unknown which lay ahead of them.
Even if we are unable to help them, let us at least be silent and think about them.  Some people can’t stand to watch the news or listen to the atrocities currently engulfing the beauty and humanity in this world.  But I think it is our duty, as human beings, to meditate and give those who are lost our compassion, prayers, reflection and light.  All's it takes are simple thoughts… remembering those who are unable to free themselves from the sick and demented beasts holding them captive.
Our children’s empty cries were once those of newborn’s joy and laughter.  Their bleeding, bruised and scraped up hands were once delicate as they fell softly into the hands of their loved ones and friends.  Their scarce voices were once lights in the sunrise of each day they awoke as they hugged their mothers, fathers, sisters and brothers.  Their wobbling, beaten and tiresome legs were once strong as they danced, skipped and ran blissfully over the horizon of days which they thought would last forever.  

Now their voices are just shadows in the light; shadows of children who once frolicked and glistened amongst the thick, heavy Nigerian air.  The memory of their screams still echoes throughout the mountain tops… there in the lasting impressions of their unforgettably beautiful and exquisite faces; faces now reflecting off of the chaotic minds of their parents and running frantically throughout the hills and distant deserts of Africa and beyond.  Loved ones are searching for answers and yet, they have no choice but to falter to the inconceivable with the slightest hope still making its way through troubled cracks as it rides the rising sun with the promise tomorrow.
Their weeping by the gravesides and the very breathes they still hold on to.   Will we find the lost ones whose names will be soft embraces among the mountain tops?  In the darkest night of their souls wandering, will we find them?  Will they ever come home?
The more I meditate and submit my essence and thoughts to their cries, the more rage runs through my veins; blood thick and stricken with an endless molten rock of torment from the images which lie frantically in the front and center of my head.  If we didn’t think about these children and the chains which are keeping them away from their loved ones, our minds may as well be numbed by blindness. 
Something has to change.  We have to change.  This world has to change.  Our ancestors fought to end slavery and provide each and every human being in this country with the opportunity to feel safe and respected.  Now it is time for us to take a stand and fight for the right of our own children; the precious angels who bring so much light and joy into this world.  Their innocence and imagination run faster than the strongest of winds and wildest of rivers pouring out into the sea.  When horrible people steal such sacred endowments from them, our children become stripped away of their strength and walking through this gift we call life.
Freedom is something we take for granted in this country.  The freedom to go to school and receive an education… freedom to work and rise to the occasion of having a better life… freedom to come and go as we please without having to worry about being gunned down, raped or tortured into slavery on a daily basis... freedom to choose who we love… freedom to travel without having to worry whether or not we will ever return home... and most importantly, free to be ourselves. 
Our freedom feels like a fragrance you often come across on a warm, summer day while passing through gardens of turmeric, roses and thyme.  It’s infectious as life’s décor skips from one living thing to the next.  Our freedom sounds like the reverberations of kids running around the park as they play soccer or swing on the swings while leaping to their childlike fates. 
We sometimes forget what liberty truly feels like because we live through it every single day of our lives.  But when a sick monster steals one of our little ones away from our transparent arms or groups like Boko Haram sneak into schools and kidnap over 200 girls, we are reminded how sacred and special freedom truly is. 

Boko Haram is an Islamist militant group in Africa who invaded a school in Nigeria during the night and stole over 200 girls between the ages of 15 and 18 years old.  One of this group’s horrible leaders, Abubakar Shekau, claims he will sell these young woman into slavery.  Here is a statement from this ignorant and hideously flawed degenerate:
“I abducted your girls.  I will sell them in the market, by Allah.  There is a market for selling humans.  Allah says I should sell.  He commands me to sell.  I will sell women.  I sell women.”  As you can see from the words stated here, this man is just as stupid as he is frightening.  With little vocabulary in the bank and too many rebels and guns behind his back, this ignorant pig is getting away with selling precious children to more ignorant pigs.  Pigs who are just as horrible as these men except they don’t steal their slaves… they pay for them instead.
Shekau commends his wrong doings and rewards his followers with impertinent duties and misguided information.  He believes western education should not be taught to the people of his country.  How awful and inconceivable are such ignorant beliefs?  This monster is going to sell our kindred and prized children because they sought out a better life.  These girls wanted to go to school and become doctors, lawyers, writers, nurses, ambassadors, teachers, etc.  And now, their future has been stripped away from them as their endeavors are being mocked and stoned by ill-bred livestock like the men of Boko Haram and those miscreants who are thinking about purchasing them.
The leader of this group also stated, "It is to be expected of terrorists.  "No group can affect our resolve. We will see this through to the end. We have the commitment and capacity to get this done. No matter what this takes, we will get these girls."  Boko Haram has killed thousands since 2009 and destabilized parts of northeast Nigeria, the country with Africa's largest population and biggest economy.
Since making this statement, eight more children have been abducted.  You might question my use of the word “children” in this post but to me, these young woman ARE STILL CHILDREN.  They have the young minds and stamina to make all of their dreams come true.  They are dreamers, warriors, sisters, imaginers, daughters, granddaughters, painters, writers, singers, and people who like to run and play… basking in the midst of an African spirit and sun. 
But now… they are mere cries in the distant deserts and boundless seas of relentless, sick and twisted men.  Men who care nothing about the life that runs through the veins and hearts of these young women.  Now, their once serenading voices are lost and winded over the Owami Desert.  Their souls are lifted still as they cry out for someone to help them… for their mother and father to come and bring them home.  I know I hear them in the back of my mind… do you?


  1. This story breaks my heart. How anyone can not see the value in another person's life is beyond me. And to think you have a right to sell someone else? I just can't even fathom what those people were thinking. I pray those girls are freed.

  2. It breaks my heart, Kelly. Men such as Boko Haram are absolutely sick and should be removed from this world; period. No one has the right to steal someone's life and it makes me sad knowing there is not much we can do about it. I always said if I were rich, I would go overseas and help these children out because this happens on a regular basis. If you ever have the chance, watch this movie called Machine Gun Preacher with Gerard Butler. It's based on a true story and zeroes in on kidnappings such as the ones in Nigeria. I cried several times during this film and the guy who's life the movie is based from is still in Africa trying to help put a stop to these abductions.

  3. Sometimes I think there are more bad people in the world than good. I'm rather shocked the country's gov't hasn't done more -- although I should be used to it as I've lived in a third world country for 20 yrs now. They have a very different way of approaching the world - reactionary, bullying, selfish, inconsiderate, uncooperative, superstitious, willfully ignorant, and they hold life cheaply (unless it's their own family). Most of all, they never accept responsibility for anything. The problems are always another's fault, and they make zero effort to change anything. The status quo is safer for them. The devil you know is better than the devil you don't.

    1. This is awful, Lexa. You must have seen and dealt with more things than I could ever imagine. It breaks my heart knowing that there is not much we can do other than petition and unite to give others who are lost some kind of voice. In a sad world, we must tread forward and still learn to appreciate the beauty. But we must never forget about those who desperately need our help.

    2. I've been thinking this past week that you must think I'm over-reacting or being too judgmental. But just today I read about 30+ children killed in Colombia when the irresponsible bus driver was "fixing" his bus by dumping gas from a container inside the bus through a hose and into his engine, which he then tried to start. Ka-boom. Also today, 300+ Turks killed when the mine they were working in exploded despite the fact dangerous gasses sensors had already alerted people to the fact it was there.

      Will anyone be held responsible for these things? Very doubtful. Will laws change so it can't happen again. No. And the people just let things go on that way.

      A few years ago. an extremely overloaded ferry went down in the Red Sea killing over 1000. There was some talk of putting the capt in jail, but he took his money and ran. Any laws change? No. Every day there are still overloaded, dangerous ferries crossing the Red Sea.

      This isn't due to gov't corruption or a few tyrants at the top keeping people down. This is due to people not caring. People just shrug and go on with their lives. There's no getting through to them.

      You may think the poor people need your help, but they think rich western countries are the bullies and tyrants - how dare we tell them how to run their countries! Sure, they'll take the money, but then tell you to mind your own business. There's a reason 3rd world countries remain 3rd world countries. Be glad you come from a long line of Europeans who would never live like this and stand up for what's right.

    3. You are right, Lexa. There should be a lot more caring and less shrugging of shoulders. There is so much chaos and tragedy occurring in this world. And the saddest part is that people don't even realize that events such as the ones you mentioned even take place. The news and media flashes briefly on these crimes and then quickly changes to the weather or sports. More people need to be aware of the travesties happening in this world. Less shrugging and more awareness by discussing and displaying the REALITY of such tragic events.
      My father was murdered and there was no justice in this. I've been open with this topic on my previous posts. Can you believe it? His murderer is roaming free because no one cared enough about my dad's case nor had the funds to hire a good lawyer. I know how disappointing humanity can be but I also see the beauty in it. It's the only way to survive and hope that one day, we will come across better world leaders who will help to change the future.

    4. You're absolutely right about too few people having knowledge of the "outside" world, of other countries, and even of history. Many spout the current wisdom (what the sound bytes tell them is the truth) or what their parents told them to believe. Few seek out different points of view to get a picture of all sides of the story. That's what makes me sad -- closed minds.

      I'm glad that you got through the tragedies in your life and remained idealistic. I used to be an idealist, but now I'm a pragmatist -- yet sometimes I'm still shocked that there's so much injustice and people refuse to change their ways or even entertain the possibility they might be wrong. It's like arguing with a wall or trying to make them change their religion. Most people in the world do NOT want to change. Sad...

  4. I think it is despicable that anyone would kidnap so many girls. I want to help bring them ho,e. The must be so scared and confused.

    1. It's horrifying, isn't it Lady Lilith? Those girls must be absolutely frightened and I can't imagine walking even one foot in their shoes. I hope and pray for more people to get involved so we can bring them home before it's too late.

  5. My heart sank when I heard this story. I can't even imagine what they must be going through, and what they're parents must be feeling right now.

  6. It's heartbreaking, Quanie. Those girls must feel so alone right now. I just hope and pray they return safely but the longer the government waits to act, the less likely we will see their beautiful faces again. Something has to be done. Men like the Boko Haram have no right to steal and sell the lives of our sacred and beloved children.

  7. First I want to say, isn't it amazing how stories come to us that we think we create, but some time goes by and we find out that it's extremely close to something that has happened in real life? That's happened to me on a couple of occasions and I always said it was because I'm a little bit psychic, but I also think it's because our hearts are open to these stories and the universe gives them to us because they have to be written and shared.

    You haven't told me anything about the novel you've been working on. You've been very secretive, which has intrigued me. And I understand why now because it's such a great idea that'll impact and inform many. Have you finished it??

    You're absolutely right that we and the world have to change. I actually wrote a song about that with lines like "But will we change in time?"

    These kidnappings are terrible! I pray they are okay and will get back to their loved ones.

    1. You said this so beautifully, Chrys... "I think it's because our hearts are open to these stories and the universe gives them to us because they have to be written and shared." This needs to be embedded in stone.. how profound!. I literally can't stop rereading those words.
      I will email you about my novel... I thought I told you about it but we always talk about so much that we sometimes forget about mentioning the little, yet, larger than life, things=)
      I'd love to hear more about the song you wrote. This world really does need to change. I understand how chaotic our lives can be at times but if we just stopped to learn about and listen for those who are lost and need our support, we are a few steps closer toward the greater goal. Even talking about these atrocities and sharing our heart's aching thoughts help. Raising awareness is key because it involves the masses to think about the problems which lie ahead.
      Thanks for sharing your beautiful thoughts here, my friend.

  8. Gina, Yes I do see now that you have so vividly painted this picture for us. This needs to be published somewhere for "ALL" to see. The blah blah news does not convey the same picture that you do and that so desperately needs to be seen and heard. Please try to take this story to the media!!!

    1. Mom, thank you so much for your compassion towards my writing! I had a wonderful woman leading me down a creative path so I can only imagine where I get my wisdom and heartfelt thoughts from=)
      I will look into several media outlets when provided some free time. I'm willing to do whatever it takes to have the voices of children lost be heard... even if we can't physically here them, their essence will constantly be lingering around those who try to continue to help put an end to these horrible crimes. We must help their cries be heard and found.
      As always, thank you for reading. You know how much your input means to me=)

  9. The kidnapping is indeed terrible. I hope they all find their way home, to their loved ones.

  10. Me, too, Angel... I'm praying hard on it. Thanks for sharing.

  11. Gina, Sadly, crimes against children in this world, our country included, are spinning alarmingly out of control. However, I believe that we are well past the hope that governments will do anything to put a stop to it. This is going to sound spiritual, and I make no apologies for that, but if the Bible has taught us anything, it is that God reserves his harshest punishment toward those nations that harm their children. So keep praying and keep expressing your feelings. You have exposed the crux of the problem.

  12. This doesn't sound harsh, at all, John. As a firm believer in what God has in store for all of us, I feel His final judgment will bring justice to all. After all, this is what we truly hope for.
    At times though, I feel helpless... I know I'm only ONE person, but I feel like if I can just bring awareness by reminding people that these women are in insufferable danger, then I'm doing SOMETHING. If I had the money and means, I would do a hell of a lot more... like Sam Childers, that preacher from Pennsylvania who just got up and moved to Africa one day. He felt God spoke to him so he had to do something to help protect children from slavery in Northern Uganda and Southern Sudan. They made an incredible movie about him called Machine Gun Preacher and Gerard Butler played him in the movie... amazing to hear stories like this.
    Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts. I appreciate them=)

  13. Its inconceivable to me that such things go on. That people have so little respect and compassion for one another.

  14. It's awful, Sandra... just awful. I honestly don't know how those men can look at themselves and think this type of behavior is okay. I really hope justice will be served and those girls are returned to their loved ones sooner than later... or even worse. So sad.