The story of Ibrahim

My name is Ibrahim (24). I grew up in Côte d’Ivoire. I travel with my sister. We left together for a brighter future. We spent three & half months living in Libya. We couldn’t find any work. Just came to Libya, to pass to get into the boat. I stayed with 15-20 men in one room. It was awful conditions. Towards the end of every month the Libyan’s would come for our money or we would be beaten. They would threaten us, our families. They say things like we know where your family lives, we will kill them, unless you pay up. People were very scared by that. One month I was beaten with an iron bar. I only asked for food. Anything you ask for I was hit. My sister and I suffered very well there.

We left around midnight. A fair-colored skin man showed us the boat and pointed to everyone go this way. You will find land in few hours. I knew that wasn’t true. But what am I gonna do. My sister and I got into the boat and pushed off from the shore. It was pitch dark. A lot of people were screaming because none had seen the sea before. Myself included. When we saw your light, I couldn’t believe my eyes, we were safe. I felt freedom at that moment. I paid 1.1 million CFA, around €1600.

Foto& tekst: Kenny Karpov (Documentary Photographer for Stichting Bootvluchteling)