The Immigration Officer Asked Me

Written by: Therese Bacha

                                 "The Immigration Officer Asked Me."

I was asked where are you coming from?
I answered I ran away from the war in my
country.?

I was asked how many years the war lasted?
I answered there was war for sixteen years
we were bombarded daily attacked by militia
on our way to work when we could go to work.

I was asked why did you choose this country?
I answered because they accept political refugees
and i heard that Canadians are helping us.

I was asked why do you look so pale and slim?
I answered because we had no food to eat when
we were bombarded we could not go out to buy
food, and when we were in the shelter nobody
brought us any food.

I was asked why are you wearing dark glasses?
I answered because i am not used to see the light.
We rarely had electricity, always using a candle
and staying in the dark for days my eye sight
weakened.

I was asked why don't you hear well?
I answered because of the arterially shelling.
And we had a bomb falling on our ceiling when
i was sitting in our home before the bomb fell.

I was asked why do you look shabby?
I answered because we never had water.
We never had water running in our tapes 
we had to buy water to have a shower or 
rain to fill utensils in plastic for many days.

He asked why don't you have any luggage?
I answered because i have nothing to wear.
My kids education needed all the money and 
i worked 2 jobs to bring in some money.

He asked what kind of work did you do?
I answered i was working in the hospital.
And working in a Boutique for mens clothing.

He asked were you working as a nurse?
I answered no i was cleaning the floors
and bathrooms i was everywhere for years
in that hospital.

He asked do you have any money on you?
I answered no the militia took everything.
When i arrived to the boat to leave the 
country as the airport was closed for 
years sometimes, at the port, one militia 
guy just snatched the few dollars i had.

He asked did you leave your home behind?
I answered no they bombarded my home
its in rebels i have nothing left in Lebanon.
He noticed my tears tumbling down my cheeks.

He asked where were you living then?
I answered i lived underground with many
people, for months sometimes we were 
underground sleeping on the floor somedays 
we had no food given by the enemy, the cry`s 
of children hungry was unbearable.

He asked do you have any family with you?
I answered no i have been alone since the war.
I had to send away my children after they 
were able to graduate not to be snatched by 
the militia. They both went to the US to work.

He asked how many children do you have?
I answered i have two boys one is a lawyer
and my other son is an interior designer.

He asked and where are they now?
I answered they ran away from the militia
to the US as we had very close friends who 
took them until they could find work to pay 
a rented room.

He asked how may languages do you speak?
I answered i speak three languages.
Arabic English and French.

He asked do you want to stay here?
I answered with my tears blinding
my eyes, please, i have nowhere
to go and i heard so much about 
the Canadians how human and 
generous they are.

He looked at me with a painful look
I will accept you as a political refugee
we will give you some money every
month you will have a bed to sleep
you will have food to eat work to do
water to drink shower and clothes
to wear and you can ask your 
children to come, are you happy now.

He stamped my passport and wished
me a good luck with a huge smile.
The beginning of a new life.

                                             Terry
                                           7/3/2013