Wednesday, July 30, 2014

In Memory of Iqbal

from the "Me to We" files

Picture one small boy, 
sold by his parents 
at age four for $16,
chained to a loom
fourteen hours a day
from age four to ten,
in order to "repay the debt".
Picture him escaping, 
being recaptured,
hung upside down for punishment,
then chained back to his loom.

Iqbal was heroic.
He escaped again,
his activism and speaking out
saving thousands of other children 
from his fate.

He lost his life at twelve,
they say for
speaking about the rights of children
to have a childhood.

Iqbal's life and death
sparked the heart of a boy his age
across the sea,
who began the movement called
From Me to We.

And we'll remember you, Iqbal,
for eternity.

Free the Children was begun by young Canadian Craig Kielburger when he was twelve, after reading about Iqbal in the newspaper. Craig began a movement against child slavery called Free the Children with eleven of his middle school friends. Craig is a young man now, and he and his brother run the international organization and continue their work, which includes hosting an annual televised marathon to inspire other young people to join the movement. It is called From "Me" to "We".

The story of Iqbal can be read here.

for Susan's prompt at Mid Week Motif: Boycott


  1. absolutely heart breaking...
    first, having to sell your kids....
    a great fictional book on this is called SOLD...
    read it a few years ago...the confinement and ugh...what a world we live in eH?

    you feeling better?

  2. Sherry, thank you for letting us know about Iqbal. What a brave young boy he was then. Yes, he should be remembered forever. As with all other martyrs throughout our lives and the next. Great piece, I felt deep sadness and assurance after reading it. Assurance that that young boy died in honor and dignity. :) God bless you Sherry.

  3. I remember hearing about Iqbal in the news, and how saddened and angry I was when he died. Thank you for this beautiful tribute to this brave boy.

  4. Those kids are growing up not only with no pens, but without any childhood...How our kids have to be grateful for their secured lives...Great tribute to Iqbal! Thanks for sharing!

  5. Sherry, how one young boy passed his legacy of peaceful but vocal protest on to others is so inspiring. This sang for me, you know how it is! Mine is feisty; yours is gorgeous, rich with humanity. Love, Amy RIP Iqbal

  6. He took the cue pursued it and sustained for the long haul. A young heart who took on adult thoughts. Wonderful resolve! Great write Sherry!


  7. twelve he achieved and survived more than people four or five times his age...sobering..and am glad you gave him a voice here too..

  8. What a powerful piece! First presenting shock and then the resolution--not without hope. This poem not only enters my gut but probes me to further investigation and action. Thank you for this memorial and assurance that he did not suffer in vain. But oh Sherry, are we in the dream that humans know better than to chain each other? Or are they in a nightmare that we're not doing enough to wake them from? Like the holocaust and slavery. this is beyond comprehension. Well, it is slavery. And these children are born into it.

  9. a heartfelt tribute to an enlightened soul who thought of others though a child and kudos to Craig Kielburger who's been inspired and began Free the Children movement so young...thanks Sherry for this post and the wonderful comment @ my page...

  10. What a tragic story, Sherry. I had not heard of Iqbal. So sad for his life; but amazing that his death sparked a movement which works against childhood slavery. His short life, thus, lives on & is of greater influence than the lives of many who have lived much longer.

  11. Thank you for reminding me of such terrible crimes that help to stock our stores. Charles Dickens would recognize this child.

  12. The sadness is even with the increased awareness that big business and govt often blocks the aid (or takes it.)
    Thanks for sharing Sherry. I hope you are feeling better today

  13. thank you for sharing the story Sherry! i really enjoyed the video as well ... there are very few who are thus inspired to change the world!! what an amazing life... the first stanza describes slavery so truly so painfully!!

  14. my younger son is 13 now. hits close. ~

  15. Oh, Sherry. It made me so sad to hear this story. I am stunned at the cruelty that some can inflict. Thank you for the consciousness lifting - I have know of child slavery but honestly, I didn't think it was that cruel and vicious

  16. An excellent topic for the prompt. Also one we must hear far more often.


I so appreciate you taking the time to read and comment.
Thank you so much. I will be over to see you soon!