Every day Aziz tries to find ways to fill the endless time.
He sits around with with his friends, drinks coffee and tries not to lose hope that one day he’ll have a life outside the confines of a detention centre.
At 26, Aziz has been in detention on Manus Island for the past three years and it’s beginning to feel as though he’ll never get out.
We don’t hear much about those detained on Manus Island and Nauru.
But thanks to a new podcast, we will get to know Aziz’s story.
It’s called The Messenger and is a joint production between Behind the Wire and The Wheeler Centre, based on thousands of WhatsApp messages shared between Aziz and journalist Michael Green.
Listen to Monique Bowley explain why this podcast is a game changer.
Aziz says it’s been years since he’s been called by his first name, instead known as QNK002 – his boat person number.
“My parents, they sacrificed for me to have this name, not to have the boat number, which is not to have these three numbers. The name that I should have is Aziz.”
As he begins his fourth year in detention, Aziz is no longer afraid of speaking out about his situation. There will be blow back.
The “regional processing centres” on Manus Island in Papua New Guinea and Nauru are notoriously difficult for media to access. It took a secret phone for the interaction to begin.
Abdul Aziz Muhamat came to Australia from Sudan, in an attempt to escape a life in which he didn’t know if he’d survive the day. He didn’t know much about Australia except that it wasn’t Sudan and was sure to be safer.
“All I knew was that I had to find a safer place,” he said.
Three years later and Aziz’s life is in limbo.
The Messenger podcast will chronicle the life of Aziz and his fellow detainees on Manus Island. He talks about the years he and his fellow asylum seekers have been on the island without their families and what it’s like day-to-tedious-day.
In one of the his messages shared on the podcast, Aziz describes how depression can hit him from out of nowhere.
“I’m really sorry that I haven’t sent you any message since yesterday or even like a couple of days ago. And you know what happened to me yesterday when I was trying to send you some message over and, I don’t know exactly what happened but I felt something just came right away on my head and then like kind of I just feel depressed when send a couple of messages… I just feel really depressed and I don’t even know what happen to me exactly.”