Azerbaijan International

Autumn 2002 (10.3)
Page 8

Readers' Forum
"Young Poet's Voice Reaches Beyond

Editor's Note:
The following letter came to us via our Web site,, after the reader had discovered the article, "Don't Call Me 'Refugee'-My Name is Lamiya" in our Spring 1999 issue (AI 7.1). We had featured Lamiya, a young
refugee child who expressed her thoughts and feelings about her pain in poetry.

Hi Lamiya,
I've just read your poems. I think they're really nice and touching. Please continue. I hope your country and your people will find happiness. Never give up hope.

With love and respect,
Johanna from Romania

P.S. All I want is Peace in this world...God help us!

Photo: Lamiya who writes poetry with her younger sister and brother in their home, 1997
(The photo was taken by
Roshanak Bayramlou)

Lamiya Safarova lives in a refugee settlement outside of Baku. Lamiya, now 15, was only nine years old when she penned the following poem. One day, she came home from her new school crying because kids had called her "refugee", (gachgin) a word that means "runner", implying "one who runs away" in Azeri. She sat down and penned this poem.




Please Don't Call Me Refugee!
My life, my destiny
Has been so painful, so don't call me "refugee".
My heart aches, my eyes cry,
I beg of you, please don't call me "refugee".

It feels like I don't even exist in the world,
As if I'm a migrant bird far away from my land
Turning back to look at my village.
I beg of you, please don't call me "refugee".

Oh, the things I've seen during these painful years,
The most beautiful days I've seen in my land.
I've dreamed only about our house.
I beg of you, please don't call me "refugee".

The reason why I write these sad things
Is that living a meaningless life is like hell.
What I really want to say is:
I beg of you, please don't call me "refugee".


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