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Since the fall of Ben Ali, Slah, like thousands of other Tunisians, thought that he could offer a better life to his family by migrating to Europe. A native of Zarzis, he earned his living by reselling goods that he brought in from Libya. But with the war going on there, borders were closed, bringing a fatal blow to his small business.

He decided to join the "harragas", those clandestine migrants who risk their lives by setting out across the Mediterranean Sea on makeshift trawlers that wash up on the Italian island of Lampedusa.

The mirage of the European land of promise, and at the end of the journey, nothing but hell.

Slah learned this from bitter experience. He had already come to France in 2000 and thought he knew what to expect. He couldn't have been more wrong. Having thought he would find a job in the construction industry through a friend, he ended up living in a state of utter destitution, far from his family and his 5 children who are more precious to him than anything in the world.

March - December 2011


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