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"Coyote" Part 1

Updated on January 29, 2017
lawrence01 profile image

Action adventure are my favourites. especially if we can tell 'part of the truth' and these hubs are based on real people.

Dream of a new life

Everyone has the right to life, that's the universal declaration of Human rights in a nutshell, not everyone gets that deal though.
Everyone has the right to life, that's the universal declaration of Human rights in a nutshell, not everyone gets that deal though. | Source

First an explanation

I could say that I'm not trying to make a political point, and I'd be lying! I am, and I'm proud of the fact that I am, but ask me what the point of the story is and I'd tell you it's that we really need to stop and listen, not to the politics, not to the cries from either or any side of the spectrum that insists that they and only they have all the answers, but we need to stop and listen to the voices of the people who had to run. run for their lives, often with only the clothes that they wore.

They often ran, not to the refugee camps, they were only slightly less lawless than the countries they came from, but fled to the cities and into the arms of some of the most unscrupulous people you'll ever meet, into the dens and lairs of the 'Coyote' the people smuggler.

I'll be totally upfront here, this is a story that I struggle with, I've no idea what the answer is, and I think the story will lead you possibly to a different conclusion than that I have, I"m okay with that, If you've read the story then at least you've taken the time to read what it's like for the people on the 'other side' people running for their lives, far from home and facing unimaginable dangers.

The story is a true one, naturally I've changed the names of the people in the story, it took place about twenty or so years ago, but the story is the same all over the world, have a think how you would respond.

Every story has a beginning

Istanbul is a great city, it's where 'east meets west' in more ways than one
Istanbul is a great city, it's where 'east meets west' in more ways than one | Source

Istanbul 1994

The rain was coming down hard as they made their way along the cornice, the wind blowing in from the east didn't help things as it brought the bitter cold straight off the Siberian plains.

There were three of them, a man in his early thirties, a young woman and a child, no older than two or three years, cold and wet, the child was crying and hungry, but the man had insisted there was one thing they had to do even before they got to their hotel.

"Are you really sure about this?" he turned and asked his wife. He was worried, no, make that terrified that they might be doing the wrong thing.

"Do you really trust him?" she replied back, "Do you really trust that he'll come through for us?"

"But" he replied, "If things fall apart, without them, we'll be stuck, nowhere to go, no one to turn to!"

"And if we're caught with them" she replied, "We'll be returned home, back to Baghdad, you know what that'll mean don't you" she sounded deeply upset, they were Iraqi and they loved Iraq with a devotion they couldn't put into words, but they were also Christian, and that meant growing up as a second class citizen in their own country, a country where they could trace their ancestors right the way back to even before the time of Jesus, but they were foreigners in that country and always had been.

"But Hamid said to keep them with us, it'll help when we cross the border" Samir replied, "I'd hate to lose the chance of getting through because we didn't have our passports!"

"You yourself said you didn't trust Hamid" Sara replied. "Samir, I can't explain it, but something tells me that Hamid's up to no good!" She stopped to nurse little George as they walked, "We need to throw the passports away, before we're caught and returned back to Baghdad"

"But if they catch us" Samir reasoned, "they'll return us there anyway, then what will we have gained?"

"I don't know, maybe it'll take them longer to work out who we really are?" it was half a question and half statement, "maybe it'll buy us time!"

"I'm still not convinced" Samir said, "but I tell you what, Hamid said we're sending the luggage on ahead of us, sending it tonight, maybe we should put them in the luggage, that way, when we get to the other side we can still use them, I'll need to prove my ID when we get to London, to get the money out of the Bank, what about that?"


People smuggling "Big Business"

Istanbul

The place they were staying was a small 'hotel' just ten minutes drive from the airport. A small 'inconspicuous' place that tourists from the Middle east often stayed at when they visited, not as sumptuous as the places the westerners stayed at, but just good enough for them to 'blend in; to the background.

It wasn't that the family was poor, they weren't, in fact before the invasion of Kuwait, they'd been a pretty wealthy family, the kind that could afford a trip to Europe once every few years, Samir's father had done business in Europe and as a result they had a pretty healthy bank account in England with at least £10,000 in the account! (that was what Samir knew about, and was without the interest that it'd earned in five years of not being touched) but as soon as the War in Kuwait happened, all those accounts were frozen.

When an account like that is frozen, the Banks often seemingly being generous say, "If you present yourself, with proof of identity, you can have the money," knowing full well that there'a no way on earth they can get there, they reckoned without Samir, 'If there's a way to get there, I'll find it' he often thought to himself, this was his way!

"What time are they picking up the luggage?" Sara asked Samir, he'd been the one to make the arrangements.

"He didn't say" Samir replied truthfully, "He said to have the bags ready tonight, leave them with the hotel manager and he'll arrange for the pick up, something about too much weight on the boat, so they're sending them by road in a truck!"

Baghdad

Iraqis say it's the most Beautiful city on earth
Iraqis say it's the most Beautiful city on earth | Source

What next?

By the time they got back to their hotel the rain had stopped, but they were totally drenched, cold and miserable. George was crying, he was so hungry, the last time they'd eaten was in Jordan before they boarded their flight, that was nearly twenty four hours ago.

They'd brought as much money as they were legally allowed to carry out of Iraq over the border into Jordan, Iraqis were still officially allowed over the border into Jordan, but there was always a price to pay, one member of the family had to be left behind so that they would return, if they didn't then Saddam would take great delight in executing the family member.

Samir's parents were both dead, victims of one of the many purges that just happened for no apparent reason, apparently someone had found out about the money in London and decided they were too much a 'flight risk' that would make the regime 'look bad'. Samir didn't ask how it had happened, he just found out the usual way one day when he came back from the Army (just before Kuwait) and the family were gone! They missed his wife, but that was because they'd only been married a few weeks and the 'paperwork' hadn't trickled through, but it was only a matter of time!

Samir did have one brother, alive and well, and living in Australia, it was his dream to get to his brother, take the family and start a new life!

Sara, for her part, she'd lost family too, two brothers killed in that senseless war with Iran that had gained them less than a hundred yards and cost over a million lives, all because of one man's pride! Her father had been proud to have sons serving in the Military, but distraught at their loss, a third brother called up and shipped off to Kuwait only to be killed as he fled for his life in a massacre, twenty thousand Iraqis lost in less than an hour, and all of it coming from the air as wave after wave of aircraft pounded the convoy, and all because some stupid officer had given the order for the men to open fire with rifles on machine built to patrol the skies and rain death down on all that defy it, the A10 Thunderbolt!

They loved their country, but all their country had given them in return was bloodshed and pain, they had to get out!

The Smugglers

"We're here for your luggage" the man said as he pushed his way into the room, Sara was dressed, but this was highly unusual, and totally against their culture. Men do not visit other men's houses when the know the male isn't going to be there, and they knew Samir wasn't here as they would have seen him leave, he was on his way to meet Hamid.

"But the luggage isn't going until tomorrow, is it?" Sara demanded.

"Change of plan" the man replied, "it's going tonight, we got a good deal with a truck going to Greece tonight" he moved in and grabbed the bags, the first one he took was the one with the passports in, she said nothing.

less than five minutes later the van was gone, along with the luggage and passports, for better or worse their plan was in motion, she just hoped they's done the right thing.

" I need the money today" Hamid told Samir

They were at a small coffee shop or 'Qahwe" as the Turks called them, Hamid had a 'Shisha' that he was smoking, from the smell of it, it wasn't tobacco that was in the Shisha, Samir decided not to ask.

He'd been expecting this, he had the money with him, slowly he took the money belt off and handed the money to Hamid, "It's all there, as we agreed $2,000 per person up front, the remaining $3,000 when we get to our destination"

Hamid's face turned crimson red, "I meant I need all the money"

"We agreed on that!" Samir cut him off, "take it or leave it" he was bluffing and both of them knew it. but the fact was he didn't have the rest until he got to London, he would pay then, he was a man of his word, but Hamid would have to lie with it, and if he was planning something untoward, well he just won't make as much money as he thought!

Hamid snatched the money belt, fuming "You son of a prostitute, MAKE SURE YOU PAY AS SOON AS YOU GET THERE!"

"As we agreed" Samir replied, "Now, when are we leaving!"

"Tomorrow night," he replied, "Be here at this time"

Tomorrow never comes

They were woken early the next morning, banging and screaming through the hotel as the Police carried out a raid, they were looking for 'illegal immigrants"

"Quick, up, let's get out of here" Samir was on his feet and hurriedly throwing some clothes on, Sara was working as fast as she could, getting George up and dressed. Samir had the door to the balcony open when the door to the room crashed open, two policemen rushed in and physically pulled him from the balcony, they manhandled him onto the bed and handcuffed him, next they handcuffed Sara and dragged them out of the room, through the hotel and into a waiting Police van.

As he was being pushed into the van, demanding to know what they were being charged with, the police screamed at him to "Shut the hell up you Iraqi scum! What do you think you're being charged with, you're here illegally!"

That was when he saw a face in the crowd, a face he knew was smiling, one that had pocketed $6,000 US from them and calmly turned them into the Police, passing a death sentence on them.

Note from the Author

This is (as far as I know) a true story of what happened to a friend of mine, I'm not going to tell the end just yet, and to be honest I've no idea how long the story is going to be, I'm just going to write what I remember what 'Samir' told me, and try to give you a bit of a perspective of what it's really like for those folks making that kind of journey.

I'm not asking people to change their minds about where they stand with regards to 'refugees' and 'economic migrants' (by the way the two are totally different, one is fleeing because it's not safe for them at home, the other is coming because there are jobs where you live!) but I am asking you to stop and listen, I mean really listen to what they say.

Let em know what you think below, and we'll see where we go from here.

Lawrence

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    • lawrence01 profile image
      Author

      Lawrence Hebb 2 weeks ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Peg

      This is actually a true story, or at least it's based on one!

      What happened to 'Samir' and Sara' was what they told me. Incidentally it wasn't religious persecution that caused him to leave, Saddam h already exterminated most of their families, they knew they were next!

      Hope you enjoy the story, but more than that, I hope it helps you see the refugees 'with new eyes'

      Blessings

      Lawrence

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 2 weeks ago from Dallas, Texas

      This story is off to a good start. I'll keep hoping that the good guys win and that the bad guys are caught and punished. Fleeing a country to avoid religious persecution seems to have been going on for centuries. I look forward to seeing how this family's tale moves forward.

    • lawrence01 profile image
      Author

      Lawrence Hebb 9 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Alan

      'Samir' was a good friend of mine. It's his story. I worked in the Middle East for a number of years, and in many ways, his story tells how things really are.

      Lawrence

    • alancaster149 profile image

      Alan R Lancaster 9 months ago from Forest Gate, London E7, U K (ex-pat Yorkshire)

      The background detail shows you've done your groundwork, that you're familiar with the territory and the terminology. 'Adding flesh to the skeleton' puts this story on the map.

      See you at the end of part 2

    • lawrence01 profile image
      Author

      Lawrence Hebb 9 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Sharon

      No worries, it's still 'being written', so read them when you have time.

      Puppies are fun though.

      Lawrence

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 9 months ago from Texas

      Lawrence, I plan to read the rest of the series, but it will not be fast. We have a new puppy and he is a character.

      I am relieved to know that they made it to safety.

      Blessings

      Shyron

    • lawrence01 profile image
      Author

      Lawrence Hebb 9 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Sharyn

      I think we often have no concept of where some of these people have come from, the trauma that drives them into the hands of the sometimes unscrupulous people willing to trade in misery, it's part of what this series is about, just telling one of the many stories.

      Samir and Sara did eventually get to safety, but in the story there's a long hard road ahead, just like they had in real life.

      But they were determined, and they had faith in Jesus.

      Hope you'll join us for the rest of the journey.

      Blessings

      Lawrence

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 9 months ago from Texas

      Lawrence, I fear for the people who are taken advantage of by the 'coyotes' who's greed knows no boundaries. I feel bad for the people who love their country and greed and evil that prevents the people from being able to make a living and live free, where they have to flee just to live.

      I do not know the answer to your question and I fear for all the people in my own country because of the people whose love of money and lust for power overshadow their compassion for humanity.

      I hear people say "we the people" will not allow this or that and then they back down and become complacent when they do not vote to protect the gains of our people and let the evil take more and more of our civil liberties.

      I hope that your friends made it to a safe haven.

      Blessings to you and your friends

    • lawrence01 profile image
      Author

      Lawrence Hebb 10 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Nell

      Absolutely awesome! One thing that always strikes me, is those people who chant the 'go home's slogans and the like, don't lift a finger to help these folks live in safety!

      I had the privilege of living about six months with 'Samir' and his family, and it was the biggest challenge, yet most rewarding time, but there'll be more of that in the story as it unfolds.

      As I said in the hub, I'm not bothered what a person thinks about taking the refugee in, but I am bothered about getting involved.

      If we don't want them to come, then get involved by helping them build a safe place to live in their homeland!

      For Iraq, one was proposed, until ISIS overran the area!

      Stay tuned, as part two will be out at the weekend.

      Lawrence

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 10 months ago from England

      What makes me so mad my blood boils as my mum used to say, is this. There are so many good people in those countries that just want to get out from the evil ones, it makes me sick to think that people treat each other this way in those countries. I have always felt for them, in fact I was talking about it on facebook with someone who chose to completely ignore me! funny how some people don't see what they don't want to see! I said to someone who was slagging these people off, ' Did you know? I said, England and Scotland have been bombed twice a year at least, since 1970? right up till 2005!!! army guys, military on horseback, even the horses, babies, hotels pubs cars and stadiums etc blown up by terrorists for 35 YEARS! and not one of them muslim! It was the Irish! did we kick them out? cause all the fuss, go home go home? no, because, well they were white and a lot of Americans funded them because of the bloody cause! Cause my arse! it was terrorist murder! so back to my point, I would protect these people too.

    • lawrence01 profile image
      Author

      Lawrence Hebb 10 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Chris

      Working on part 2 at the moment.

      Lawrence

    • cam8510 profile image

      Chris Mills 10 months ago from Missoula, Montana at least until March 2018

      Lawrence, just keep telling the story. We are listening.

    • lawrence01 profile image
      Author

      Lawrence Hebb 10 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Even coming to the 'safe' countries the legal way, isn't a trip that's made easily.

      I know of one Iraqi lady who got through all the hurdles, but her daughter (9 years old) hadn't made it to the refugee camps, she was still with her grandparents in Erbil.

      This lady was given her refugee passport AND TOLD by officials she had a choice, she could travel to America and never see her daughter again, or she could go back, meet up with her daughter and never be able to leave, she would lose the refugee status!

      That lady chose her daughter! (and I threatened physical violence to the smugglers who did get her out if anything happened them, but that's another story)

      Don't think it's an easy trip.

      Thank you for reading, by the way I heard one of the reasons for Trump's ban at the moment is so they can work out ways to prioritise giving minorities preference, I think the proof will be 'in the pudding'

      Blessings

      Lawrence

    • Robert Sacchi profile image

      Robert Sacchi 10 months ago

      :-) that's good to know.

    • lawrence01 profile image
      Author

      Lawrence Hebb 10 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Robert

      But they did get better.

    • Robert Sacchi profile image

      Robert Sacchi 10 months ago

      Sorry to read that.

    • lawrence01 profile image
      Author

      Lawrence Hebb 10 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Linda

      I intend to, but for Samir and Sara things had to get worse before they got better.

      Blessings

      Lawrence

    • Carb Diva profile image

      Linda Lum 10 months ago from Washington State, USA

      Lawrence, I do hope you will continue to write of this; I want to know what happened to these innocent people, and what of the child?

    • lawrence01 profile image
      Author

      Lawrence Hebb 10 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      John

      You're right there, it is shocking, but it's also a true, I've wanted, yet been afraid to write the story for quite a long time, it just seems that now, with the things that are going on, it's the right time to tell the story.

      'Samir' was a good friend of mine (you'll read about our meeting later in the story) who eventually did get to his brother, but the road was incredibly dangerous, by the way, last I heard, he owns a furniture manufacturing business in Sydney!

      All we ask is that people take the time to actually listen to these people, especially the things that the people from the minorities in these countries tell us.

      Thanks for reading.

      Blessings

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 10 months ago from Queensland Australia

      This is shocking, Lawrence and just shows the risk and danger these people are willing to take to find a better, safer life. Thank you for sharing.

    • lawrence01 profile image
      Author

      Lawrence Hebb 10 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Thanks, I will.

      Lawrence

    • Robert Sacchi profile image

      Robert Sacchi 10 months ago

      Just telling what happened is usually the best way.

    • lawrence01 profile image
      Author

      Lawrence Hebb 10 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Robert

      I've tried for a long time to think of a way to accurately tell what it's really like for someone like 'Samir' and 'Sara' who try to do all things 'right'.

      The best way I came up with was tell what happened, as I remember it.

      Blessings

      Lawrence

    • Robert Sacchi profile image

      Robert Sacchi 10 months ago

      It is very good you are writing about your experiences and the experiences of the people you have met. These stories gives people information they aren't likely to get through the normal media outlets.

    • lawrence01 profile image
      Author

      Lawrence Hebb 10 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Bill

      This one is one of those stories that if you tried to write it as fiction no one would believe it!

      Lawrence

    • lifegate profile image

      William Kovacic 10 months ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      Okay, Lawrence. You have my attention. I'll be waiting to hear the rest of their story. Sometimes truth plays out harder than fiction.

    • lawrence01 profile image
      Author

      Lawrence Hebb 10 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Bill

      Thank you for the visit, whenever this issue comes up, I find myself thinking of some of the people I knew who chose this way, it might sound strange, but some of them really did have no other option! not even going to one of the refugee camps was open to them!

      'Samir' and 'Sara' were a couple I lived with for a while in Iraq, they were two people that I really learned to look at the world through their eyes, but that'll come out later in the story.

      Blessings

      Lawrence

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I love the message, Lawrence. I, too, have no idea what the answer is, but raising awareness, as you've done, is an excellent first step. Well done, my friend, and blessings always.