Publish Novellas 7 July 2021
EPISODE 5 – DEPORTATION
In the dramatic miniseries climax, Bello risks freedom to save family. Now he faces consequences for illegal use of hospital resources.
Fictional events based on actual crisis
From the beginning of the journey, the contingency plan has been for Tafari to take care of Bello’s family if necessary.
Authorities come and take Bello to a police station. Feigning little understanding of Italian, Bello is uncooperative during the interrogation.
“Are you here alone or are others with you?” asks the officer.
Bello remains quiet to protect his family.
“You look Ethiopian… or perhaps Tigrayan. There is quite a bit of turmoil going over there. Is that where you are from?” asks the officer without response.
“Okay, I will start the paperwork for your deportation to Tigray. How’s that sound?” says the officer before leaving the room. He asks Sergio whether the hospital wishes to press charges. Bad publicity and the absence of a harmed patient deter them from doing so.
An hour later, the officer returns with a stack of papers. With little more than Bello’s name on a fake ID card, the officer can’t confirm his origin. So he decides to fake it.
With the stack of papers in hand, he begins reading, “Name: Bello Kasa. Origin: Tigray, Ethiopia. Family: None. Deportation date: Tomorrow…”
Having flashbacks of Tigrayan violence, Bello speaks up. “Let me have audience with Sergio from the hospital.”
“I can arrange that,” says the officer. An hour later, Sergio joins the interrogation room.
Bello petitions, “With your permission, may I speak to my boss and those who interviewed me in the conference room once more?”
“I cannot bring them all down here. We have a hospital to run. You had your chance to speak. Now it is out of my hands,” Sergio explains with some irritation.
“Then please make arrangements to be at my deportation hearing,” Bello says.
“Is that it? I thought you had something to reveal to me now,” says Sergio in frustration.
He storms out with the officer behind him who slows Sergio down to explain the situation. “We don’t have any criminal charges to file, no evidence, and we are uncertain of his origin. I cannot just pick a random country to deport him. Arrange the meeting he requests and see if the hospital can resolve this.”
“Fine. Keep him here tonight and I will arrange a meeting tomorrow at the hospital,” says Sergio.
Bello spends the night in a jail cell. The next morning a police officer drives him to the hospital and hands him over to security. They escort Bello into the conference room with six other people, including the medical director.
Sergio begins, “We won’t tolerate evasiveness. Are you prepared to tell us what happened?”
“Yes, I apologize for being terse yesterday. There is just so much to say. Some of which, I cannot convey in Italian. I have been studying the language for just a few months.
Thinking last night in the jail cell, it appears you need context to the events of yesterday. Otherwise, it is like removing one tumor when a cancer has metastasized. May I please share my journey here?”
Looking around the room at nodding heads, Sergio says, “Yes, go ahead.”
Bello then shares what he experienced firsthand in Tigrayan. He relates his attempts to save hundreds of lives in a sea of thousands. He recalls how the walls of the hospital shook from bomb blasts as he pulled an IV drip around with him for nutrients after working four shifts in order to attend to patients.
Without revealing their names or whereabouts, he describes the death of his parents and his wife. He says, “I am one of many thousands whose family members were sexually mutilated. The bombs still ring in the ears of children. I could no longer spend countless hours operating to save hundreds of lives in the hospital while my loved ones waited at home for attackers to violate them.
“With basic necessities, the desperate trek across two countries and an ocean only to be tossed into the sea and swim to safety. Safety that is a tent under a bridge.
“The physical and emotional wounds from such atrocities are deep. So when I had an opportunity to help just one here, I applied the universal oath of a physician. I apologize for deceiving you. If you feel sending me back to that war-torn country is just punishment for saving a life, I am prepared to go.
“But if you have mercy in your heart, as I did when making all the tough decisions and sacrifices over the past six months, then perhaps you will find a humanitarian solution.”
As Bello finishes speaking, there is no dry eye in the room. He is censored for breaking the law. But he is praised for his ingenuity before excusing him from the room to confer over a decision. The employers lookup news reports on what is happening in Tigray that confirm his story.
When Bello returns, the hospital board shares its conclusions. “Here’s what we are willing to do. We will get you a real work permit, better housing, and proper healthcare benefits for your family.”
“Thank you! Thank you so much. But where will I work to pay rent for such housing and benefits?” Bello asks.
“You have not been removed from payroll. In fact, we will be giving you a raise while you study and work to become a licensed doctor, here in Italy.”
“Your compassion is greater than the hatred against Tigrayans. Thank you, thank you…” Bello says to each person as he shakes their hand.
“We look forward to meeting had treating your family,” Sergio says. “We will not press charges. You do not need to hide or feel compelled to run any longer.”
Though this story is fictitious, the crisis in Tigray is real, as are the atrocities described. Adequate publicity, more humanitarian aid, and compassion may assist refugees to resume meaningful lives. Regardless of the outcome, many have faith in the Creator’s promise to end all suffering. —Revelation 21:3–5.
- The UN Refugee Agency Donations. give.unrefugees.org/201120emer_etpref_c_4690 Retrieved 7 Jul 2021
- 9 Things To Know About The Unfolding Crisis In Ethiopia's Tigray Region. npr.org/2021/03/05/973624991/9-things-to-know-about-the-unfolding-crisis-in-ethiopias Retrieved 7 Jul 2021
- ‘They Told Us Not to Resist’: Sexual Violence Pervades Ethiopia’s War. nytimes.com/2021/04/01/world/africa/ethiopia-tigray-sexual-assault.html Retrieved 7 Jul 2021
- An Ethiopian American Refugee Longs For Her Homeland. npr.org/2021/04/16/987396955/an-ethiopian-american-refugee-longs-for-her-homeland Retrieved 7 Jul 2021
- Ethiopia’s Tigray war: The short, medium and long story. bbc.com/news/world-africa-54964378 Retrieved 28 Sep 2021
Access more article features and references.