FICTION: The Diary of Amil Nazar by Jamie Richmond

Day 1: New school. I have to write a diary as part of my class. I have moved here because there were some terrorists near our old house in Damascus. Life in Syria is hard at the moment.

Day 2: I still don’t know anyone yet, but I saw a beautiful girl before class. I think I heard her friends calling her Nooda. I hope her name isn’t Noodle, that would be silly.

Day 3: I made a friend called Adnan. We both like soccer, American movies and music. We both hate school and terrorists.

Day 4: The teacher taught us about different religions today. I liked them all. I wonder if you can be more than one religion???

Day 5: Her name is Nooda, she is 15 like me.

Day 6: Nooda doesn’t like soccer or American movies, but she does like music.

Day 7: Me and Adnan joked about starting our own religion today, I’m glad nobody heard us.

Day 8: There are rumours we might have to move again. All the adults are talking about stuff behind our backs. I don’t want to move again.

Day 9: I told Adnan that I had to leave all my CD’s back in the old house. He says we should go and get them, but it’s too far to walk. It’s also too dangerous. If terrorists didn’t kill us, our parents would.

Day 10: I think we are staying for now. The terrorists moved east to some oil pipes. Why can’t someone just give them a part of the country and everyone be happy.

Day 11: I heard on the radio that one of my old teachers got hung today. I didn’t like him but I felt sad. I told Adnan and he didn’t know what to say. When I told Nooda she hugged me. It felt nice.

Day 14: We did history today, it was really interesting. Greece and Egypt have lots of old buildings. I want to see them in person someday.

Day 16: Me, Adnan and Nooda joked about travelling the world looking at all the different buildings and trying all of the different foods. I wish we could really.

Day 23: The terrorists killed some people in Paris yesterday. We prayed for the people that were killed until my knees hurt. Mother cried but I don’t think she knew any of them.

Day 29: Me, Nooda and Adnan talked about travelling again but I don’t think Adnan is serious.

Day 37: My dad woke me, my mum, and my sister Deni in the middle of the night. We are all now travelling in a car to the west border. I’m angry I didn’t get to say goodbye to Nooda or Adnan.

Day 38: The driver who brought us here has sold his car and has disappeared. Now we have no money to pay a boatman. There are hundreds of people here. I don’t like it.

Day 39: There might be a space on a boat to Greece tomorrow.

Day 40: We made it to Greece, just. Nearly everyone was sick, the smell was horrible. I’m lucky I didn’t pass out, the people that did passed out apparently fell overboard, but I think they were pushed.

Day 51: I want to see the Acropolis, but apparently, we aren’t allowed to leave the camp.

Day 63: It was my turn to try and find some food today. I think I saw Nooda but lost whoever it was in the crowd. I have never been so hungry but I daren’t complain.

Day 79: The other town we moved to was captured by the terrorists. I hope Adnan and Nooda, and their families got out.

Day 81: I am seeing more and more fighting in the camp. There’s rumours somebody was stabbed but I don’t know if that’s true. I hate it here. I just want to go back home.

Day 82: We are on the move again. Somewhere called Macedonia is next. I’m not even sure if that’s a real place. I don’t care where we go, as long as there is more food.

Day 108: We are now in Germany. I passed through lots of countries but Dad said he doesn’t know which ones. The locals here shout a lot more and some of them throw stones at us. I don’t blame them, this is their country.

Day 109: I got a good meal today and the stomach pains have stopped. Something called sausages and then Nutella. There are more people here but it seems a bit more organised than the last camp.

Day 110: There was a game of soccer today. I scored two goals. There was a kid my age called Samir, I wish I was as good as he was. He said his dream was to play for Barcelona and Syria. I hope he makes it, he is the best footballer I have ever seen in real life.

Day 125: Dad said we are going to try and get to England. Apparently, you can get paid if you can get there. I am sick of travelling I just want to go back home and stay there.

Day 173: We are at a place called Calais. It is called “the Jungle” and it is worse than the last two camps combined. There are a lot of people taking photographs. I feel like I am in a zoo, I feel sorry for lions now.

Day 181: I saw Adnan today. He left the day after I did. Nooda was still there when he left. Adnan is trying to get to England with his dad on a truck, I hope we don’t go that way it sounds really dangerous. I am glad I saw Adnan, but I am scared for him.

Day 203: It was my birthday yesterday. Everybody forgot, but I don’t blame them.

Day 209: I just realised I have something in common with Albert Einstein. He was a refugee too.

Day 214: Me and my Dad are going to leave my mum and sister here, and try to get to England. Sneaking on a truck is the only way because they won’t let people in. We have to wait a couple of weeks. I am really scared. Dad said I have to be brave, what does he think I have been doing all this time!!!

Day 215: I am not looking forward to going. I worry I won’t see mother or Deni again. The place I am going to is called Great Britain. I hope the people really are great and let me stay because I am sick of moving.

Day 216: I have prayed all day that mother and sister are well when we go. When I get scared I think of Nooda and it helps me.

Day 217: We are going tonight. Dad said I can’t take this book so this is my last entry. Wish me luck…

Jamie Richmond

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Jamie Richmond was born in and still finds himself in Sunderland, UK. He is currently earning his keep as a groundsman while writing as much as he can. He is currently writing for and entering every competition and challenge he comes across while working on his soon-to-be-published first book ‘Nightfall’. He enjoys the challenge of writing something niche, or that he finds difficulty in, because he likes to push himself. He hopes to one day turn his favourite hobby into a job and become a writer, or Batman. But preferably a writer.

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