Lost & Found – Sayed’s Story

Sayed from Afghanistan. Photo: Lisa Hogben/CMRC

Sayed from Afghanistan. Photo: Lisa Hogben/CMRC

Sayed grew up in Quetta, in northern Pakistan after his family fled the Taliban in Afghanistan.

Sayed grew up in Quetta, in northern Pakistan after his family fled the Taliban in Afghanistan.

When Sayed decided to escape the Taliban attacks in Quetta, his mother gave him a religious cloth and knotted it like a bracelet around his wrist. The bracelet represented a link with his family and offered hope for safe passage on his dangerous journey.

After travelling for many months overland, Sayed arrived in Indonesia. There were many occasions when he found himself stranded on a boat out at sea. One night he was sitting in a small boat with 14 others, and he had missed a transfer to a larger vessel and so he had to return to the mainland. Over 170 people landed on shore that night and everyone scattered quickly in case the Indonesian police were patrolling the area. During his escape the bracelet his mother made, was lost.

In 2012 Sayed did find himself on a boat that reached Christmas Island after 3 days travelling. An Australian Naval Officer was the first English speaker to address Sayed – he asked his name and then assigned him a number : SIEV 317/ 41. This number was written on a tag and inserted into a plastic medical bracelet. The bracelet was then put on Sayed’s wrist. It was to remain there until he received an ID card.

Share Button