Hassan Abdi Ali: My journey to Finland (via the Mediterranean)

by , under Hassan Abdi Ali

My journey to Finland from Somalia lasted five months. It was a very long and dangerous journey, and I would never do it again. 

My journey began in February 2015 from Mogadishu Airpot from where I flew to Sudan’s capital city Khartum. Fourteen days later I was in Tripoli, Lybia’s capital, after having crossed the Sahara Desert.


Source: Otavan Sanomat.

Tripoli wasn’t a nice looking city, and there wasn’t any food for us there. We waited two and a half months before I got a place on a vessel that would take us to Italy.

There were about 500 people on the ship. We left in the morning, and the first evening the engine broke down, and water started to enter the vessel. We were adrift for three days in the middle of the Mediterranean before they rescued us. We were lucky, the battery of the ship’s telephone was dead, and we could not call for help. It was a grueling journey, and I remember it well. On the vessel there were children, pregnant women just like men of different ages; about 20 of us dies. Three days on the boat was too long for some and if you didn’t remain standing people would stand on top of you.

When the rescue ships came, the first to board it were women and children. I ended up in the water even if I didn’t know how to swim. Fortunately, I had a life vest. They told us that they could not feed us too much food since we had eaten too little on arrival.

I called my family 15 days later from Rome and told them that I was alive. I was forced to pay more money to the smuggler, who took me to Germany from where I traveled to Sweden and via [the northern Finnish city of] Kemi to Oulu.

I would never do this journey again. When I came to Finland, I weighed 48 kilos. Nothing else was on the mind except that I had to keep on moving ahead. God will help me reach my goal.