Name: Cara Borg Aquilina
Age:   15
Title:  Mission ASA

“The best views come after the hardest climb.” 

Adventures. If young people were asked to define adventure, they’d probably describe it as an exciting experience:  embarking on a journey into the unknown- essentially a leap of faith. It means stepping out of one’s comfort zone by doing something that they normally wouldn't. Even though I find that some truth lies here, my notion of what an adventure is classified to be is totally out of the norm for other 12 year olds like myself.    
The awareness of refugees in today's society is widespread. These displaced individuals regard fleeing their country a priority. As resilience seems far out of grasp, Haya Kaar, a Somali girl, and her fight for survival must not only be given rightful recognition, but should also act as a learning foundation for empathy and understanding. This is Haya's ESCAPE TO FREEDOM. This is her ASYLUM SEEKING ADVENTURE.  

Death of millions. My city, the city of Somalia, has metamorphosed into an appalling war zone. Dead corps lay with disregard. Safety is arid. The horrors of war are cataclysmic; both to the cities affected and its people; I KNOW THIS ALL TOO WELL…  

My family and I lived a congenial, wholesome life and I aspired to make a name for myself in the medical field. I sought to become a doctor and travel to treat patients globally. That’s what I had intended to be my adventure in life, not this.  

Flee. Run away. Escape. Take flight. Although it was outright dangerous and expensive to flee the country, it was the only alternative. It was our only way of survival. It was the beginning of my ASA*.  
The coastal area of Somalia was unreservedly patrolled by soldiers.  

Flight to Australia was definitely out of the question. Our only recourse was to travel through Ethiopia and Libya, heading to Europe. I couldn’t bear the thought of abandoning our beloved homeland, my haven, my sanctuary; no longer an oasis in the desert, but prey for unparalleled bombings.  

The Kaar family’s willingness to survive was tremendously overpowering.          Mission ASA was ago.  

My family and I spent agonizing nights; malnourished, short of resources; my spirit crushed by Mission ASA.  Father, brother, and I crossed the borders of Sudan to Libya 
and travelled north. The promise of new life became all the more realistic … longer an immensely desired dream.  

Mission ASA was to meet its roughest provocation yet.   
We boarded this overloaded fishing boat, a heterogeneous melting pot of nationalities. I was sick with concern, my knees crammed up to my chest.  
Haya had always had to endure her severe thalassophobia. Amidst the pandemonium, her elder brother reminded her of a new life awaiting them in Europe.  

“Among the trauma of the war a single star shines light in the darkest corners of the world.”

Haya never dared to lose faith and fully embarked on this adventure; the life adventure that she was destined for.  
Mission ASA did not hold up its end of the bargain, or did it? Do Haya and her family lie lifeless in the sea of the deceased, ‘the Mediterranean’? Or do they thrive elsewhere?  Was the adventure mortally restricted, or does it have a higher meaning? Is life itself not the adventure? Were we born to die or are our lives predestined? Could Haya’s adventure be your own? Only time will tell.              

Death is inevitable; but are our adventures? 
*Asylum Seeking Adventure 

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