Mebrahtom Tesfay

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This shows the entire journey of a refugee trying to reach Europe.


MebrahtomETHIOPIAThey go out of the UN office in Ethiopia frustrated that they have no long term solution and decide to cross the desert to reach Europe on their own.When they cross the desert they find many enemies: smugglers, who are represented with the mobile phone because they constantly force them to call their relatives to send them more money as well as fundamentalists, who are represented by the snake because they murder refugees.

If they make it to sea, they must try for their vision to reach Europe where they believe they can make money to help their family in Eritrea, but even in the sea they can die. Those who die are eaten by sea creatures.

The bird represents their vision but you can see that even the leaf is fruitless, just like their dream, it is fruitless because even when they reach Europe there is no fruit, they cannot work and they aren’t accepted.


By Mebrahtom Tesfay, a fine arts teacher in the Mai Aini refugee camp in Ethiopia.


This painting was made as an initiative of the Jesuit Refugee Service arts programme in Mai Aini refugee camp in Ethiopia and is published with their permission.


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