The peace that should characterize the final years of life of Fatima and Ahmed, aged 69 and 84 respectively, has become a rare commodity. They must deal with threats, attempts at intimidation and the climate of fear created by their two drug-addict sons.
Fatima* is 69 years old and her husband Ahmed* is 84. Their faces weathered by time and their eyes full of sadness, they are at a stage in their lives where they should have rested and enjoyed their retirement, after years of hard work, during which they devoted themselves body and soul to their four children.
Unfortunately, the reality of this couple who lives in Camp-Chapelon, Pailles, is a thousand miles from this idyllic dream. Their sons Karim*, aged 40, and Malik*, who is 29, took a sad path, which plunged the family into an abyss of suffering. They are both drug addicts. Drugs, like a pernicious, evil and persistent shadow, have crept into the lives of these young men and made their existence a never-ending nightmare.
Pa kapav koz ar zot. Si koz ar zot, zot koumans zoure ek zot rod agres mwa. Parfwa mo bizin sove kit lakaz ale»
The wrinkled faces of Fatima and Ahmed bear the marks of deep pain, as if each wrinkle was a scar left by this ordeal that will eventually wear them down, if nothing changes. Formerly, Fatima was a joyful and full of life woman. His smile has unfortunately faded over the years.
The happy memories of their youth, once shared as a family, are now vestiges of a distant past, carried away by the torment of addiction. The laughter that once echoed through their humble abode has been replaced by silent tears and resigned sighs. Once peaceful nights are punctuated by muffled screams and cries of distress, as the family struggles to preserve some semblance of normalcy in this chaos.
The days of these devoted parents are now filled with constant worry. The slightest sound of footsteps or phone call is a source of anxiety, as they fear the next episode of their sons' drug addiction. Incessant calls from creditors, visits from the police and tumultuous arguments between the two brothers are an integral part of the daily life of this aging couple.
Despite all their efforts, Fatima and Ahmed often find themselves alone in their sad home, abandoned by sons whose addiction increasingly distances them. Each day that passes brings its share of pain and sorrow in a life that moves forward like an unfinished tragedy. Trapped in a whirlwind of despair, they cling to the fragile hope that their sons will one day find a path to recovery.
The couple's nightmare now reaches unbearable heights, revealing a sinister picture of violence and blackmail. Daily, their two sons beg them to give them money, showing aggression and uttering threats.
We close the zoo and the zoos are in prison. Nou tia swete ki lotorite ed nou. They don’t come back to the lake”
For fear of physical violence and having her property destroyed, Fatima always ends up giving in to their demands. A scenario that repeats itself tirelessly in the family home where the terror is palpable. “Toulezour, it’s better to drink lager in your zoo. Parfwa sakenn tir kouto ar so kamarad. Ena fwa zot amen move dimoun dan lakaz. Pa kapav koz ar zot. Si koz ar zot, zot koumans zoure ek zot rod agres mwa. Parfwa mo bizin sove kit lakaz ale,” confides Fatima, distraught.
She explains that their two sons take everything they find in the house to sell. Even the provisions go there. As a result, the mother no longer does any shopping for the month. She and her husband buy what they need daily. “Mo bizin aste zour pou zour mo manze. Me pena enn zour ki mor rapel ki mo misie ek mwa finn resi manz an pe,” explains Fatima.
Ahmed suffered so much under the influence of his two tyrannical sons that he has suffered from mental disorders for several years. A relative indicates that there were times when this poor father had to flee barefoot and under the blazing sun after his two sons kicked him out of the house.
The most recent incident dates back to Tuesday, November 28, 2023. It was around 7 a.m. The two sons pressured Fatima, using threats and intimidation, to hand over money. But she replied, with fear in her stomach, that she had none.
Ignoring his pleas, Karim and Malik started uttering aggressive words. The tone is raised. Fatima ran away from home to seek refuge elsewhere. This devoted mother decided to file a complaint for domestic violence against her sons at the Pailles police station. She has no witnesses to corroborate her story.
Karim and Malik are actively sought by the police. Anyone with information on their whereabouts is asked to contact police immediately.
The mother explains that every time she files a complaint against her sons, the police arrest them, but the two young people are sometimes released the same day. “Bizin close zot ek les zot dan prizon. Nou tia swete ki lotorite ed nou. They don’t come back to the lake,” Fatima concludes. She appeals for help to the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family Welfare and the Elderly Protection Unit to come to their aid before it is too late .
* assumed first names