Warscapes has shared an excerpt from Djiboutian author Abdourahman Waberi’s novel Transit, translated from the original French and published last year. The novel takes the form of a succession of monologues by each of the characters and deals with the subject of child soldiers and Djibouti’s recent history.
In the following extract, the voices of Bashir, an adolescent ex-soldier, and Harbi, a Djiboutian intellectual and an opponent of the regime, are heard:
I’m in Paris, warya (3) – good thing, huh? OK it’s not really Paris yet but Roissy. That the name of the airoport. This airoport got two names, Roissy and Charles-de-Gaulle. In Djibouti it got just one name, Ambouli, an I swear on the head of my departed family, it’s much-much tinier. OK, this trip here, everything went all right. I gobbled the good food of Air France. Went direct to the war film before I fell into heavy sleep. I was stocked, no I mean scotched—taped—in the last row of the Boeing 747 where the cops tie the deportees up tight when the plane goes back to Africa. That’s true, that the way they do it. Moussa he told me that a little while ago. Moussa, you know he can pray the good Lord sitting down without lifting his behind from the seat of the plane, believe me faithfully. He travel a lot, Moussa, helps guys discovering travel like me. He calm all the time. He talk so soft-soft you’d think he got sore tonsils. Wait, I’m gonna follow Moussa, pick up baggage. My bag blocked between two big boxes of French military, label says it: “AD 188”
- Transit by Abdourahman A Waberi
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Image courtesy DAAD