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Heartbreaking Poem Penned By Sudanese Artist Who Died Trying To Reach Malta And Europe Goes Viral

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As migration becomes a political football once again, used to score cheap points over your political rival, one viral post shows the human side to the ongoing tragedy in the Mediterranean.

“This is Sudanese poet Abdel Wahab Yousif,” begins a post by Helga Landauer that’s since been shared over 11,000 times. 

“He was one of 45 people who drowned in the Mediterranean Sea a few days ago when their ship was shot at by a group of men and caught fire. Authorities from Libya, Malta and Italy were all called but no one came to their rescue,” she continued, sharing a photo of the man.

She was referring to a boat that sunk around the 19th August off the coast of Zuwara, Libya. The tragedy marked the largest number of fatalities in a single shipwreck off the Libyan coast this year.

The boat was carrying 82 people, with the 37 survivors coming from Senegal, Mali, Ghana and Chad.

At least five children also drowned that day – and poet Abdel had uncannily predicted their deaths, his own and the death of others in a horrifyingly apt poem of his.

Here is the poem in full:

You’ll die at sea.
Your head rocked by the roaring waves,
your body swaying in the water,
like a perforated boat.
In the prime of youth you’ll go,
shy of your 30th birthday.
Departing early is not a bad idea;
but it surely is if you die alone,
with no woman calling you to her embrace:
“Let me hold you to my breast,
I have plenty of room.
Let me wash the dirt of misery of your soul.”

“Abdel fled his home in desperate search of safety. But he knew of the dangers that lay ahead. In many ways, he predicted his own death at sea in one of his recent poems.”

Malta remains at the forefront of an ongoing migration crisis that sees countless people try to flee their countries in Africa and the Middle East in search of a better life in Europe… if they even make it here.

Cover photo: Helga Landauer

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