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  • Enric Roures

(EN) THE SMELL OF THE SALT OF THE SEA

Updated: Jan 12

- These words are part of a fictitious story created by me but which unfortunately comes close to reality in the last few years in the waters all over the world. A story of no one that belongs to everyone -



"I feel how the sun warms my face, how its rays caress my skin and how the breeze of the wind blows on my hair. On the porch of the house, my brother softly touches my head while we whisper the song that Grandpa taught us.


The wind also brings with it the smell of the vegetable soup that mum is preparing in the kitchen. She is wearing the dress with red flowers that Dad bought her at the market and has that dark hair that combines with her honey-colored eyes. Someday I would like to be as beautiful and gorgeous as her.


After lunch I have to meet Fatima for a walk in the central park of Damascus before the evening prayer. Sometimes I get bored praying in the mosque, but it's funny to see the other women's veils, listen to the grandmothers' conversations and to observe my mother's angry smile when I don't pronounce the Arabic verses of the Coran properly. Sunday is my favourite day of the week.


With my eyes closed I feel peace and happiness, but at the same time I have a very strange feeling. I feel the cold in my body and the smell of the salt of the sea.

I no longer feel my brother's hand caressing my head or Grandpa's song. The sun no longer warms me and I feel that my body is getting heavier and heavier. Where am I? Where am I?


I'm starting to remember that those Sundays are over. I remember that my mother stopped wearing the dress with the red flowers and how my father met other men smoking and arguing all night. I remember their tired eyes and the sadness on their faces while the war consumed all our dreams.


There were no more walks in Damascus park because of the curfew in the city. At night, I could hear the creepy sound of planes flying overhead and the prayers in the mosque became alarms announcing their arrival. Each bomb made the house shake and I hugged my brother as hard as I could because his caresses on my head made the time go by faster.


With my eyes closed I feel peace and happiness, but at the same time I have a very strange feeling. I feel the cold in my body and the smell of the salt of the sea.

I remember the day I had to say goodbye to Fatima. It was the day my mother put her dress in a suitcase, my father his white shirts and grey trousers and my brother his football team shirts. We went out at night in a crowded van as we left our house behind. Dad was very nervous and gave money to some men who promised us that nothing bad would happen.


I remember hearing the sea for the first time and the fear I felt when I got into the boat. I told my mother that I didn't want to go up, but she grabbed me tightly and put me next to my brother. The sunset gave place to the night and with it the most beautiful full moon I have ever seen.


With my eyes closed I feel peace and happiness, but at the same time I have a very strange feeling. I feel the cold in my body and the smell of the salt of the sea.

I think that with the rays of the sun caressing my face I must have fallen asleep on the porch of the house. Yes, I must be dreaming. But if I am dreaming, why can't I open my eyes?


I try to move my legs, but I don't have the strength and I can't hear my heartbeat anymore. I feel my body sinking into the water and the screams of my family in the dark echo in my head. The sea scares me.


I remember people's screams, the waves breaking stronger in our boat and my mother's tears. I remember the full moon at night as a premonition of what was to come. I remember falling into the water and struggling with all my strength to learn how to swim. Now I remember...


With my eyes closed I will always feel the cold in my body and the smell of sea salt. Now I am part of its immensity and at the same time part of nowhere."


- Enric Roures -


Documentary film: Refuge by Kaz Firpo

- Refuge is a multimedia project chronicling human stories from the European Refugee Crisis, focused on humanity and hope -


Learn more about REFUGE project:


http://www.refugeproject.co/refuge-mkf/

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