From: Kabul, Afghanistan
I come from a very big family in Kabul—four brothers and four sisters. In Afghanistan, some people have more than one wife, but my father has just one—my mother.
I studied in school until the 10th grade. The schools don’t have supplies and the teachers don’t know the information– they ask the students to explain things to them.
(Audio excerpt from Fuad’s interview)
Then my friend’s brother taught me how to be a mechanic, so I did that for two years. As a mechanic, I traveled to the different provinces for work. I saw the situation in the provinces. From 8 am to 6 pm, the Afghan security forces patrol the area. Then, from 6 pm until morning, the Taliban controls the area. The police can’t control the Taliban.
And it depends on the province. For example, Mazar-i-sharif is fine, but places like Kandaz and Tahar, you can’t go there because there are a lot of Taliban.
After the Americans came, Taliban took control of these provinces.
But it’s not great in the cities, either. There is not a lot of work, everyone is going after the same jobs. And you can’t walk outside after 6 pm because there are thieves with knives.
And recently, a helicopter landed in Jalalabad. 200 ISIS fighters walked into the city.
In Afghanistan, once you are eighteen years old, you have to join the army to fight the Taliban. And that’s what many of my friends are doing right now.
But my brother convinced my father that in order for me to have a future, I should come to study in Europe. So along with a friend of mine and 35-50 people packed into a small truck, we headed towards Pakistan.
My father told me three things when I left home: don’t drink alcohol, don’t smoke, and respect everyone.
We drove from Afghanistan to Pakistan and then to Iran. It was 3 am and we were all sleeping in the truck. Irani police started shooting at us. We got away.
We walked for twelve hours and crossed three rivers on a little boat to get to Turkey.
My friend got shot in the leg.
I stayed in Turkey for two years with my brother, who had moved there when I was younger. They never even told me about it when he moved. They don’t tell young children anything.
My brother and I worked together in a restaurant near the sea.
Then my friend I came to Greece.
When we got to Athens, we slept in the park for two nights. After the second night, a Greek woman took us to squatted building at the Polytechnion campus. It’s a refuge for a lot of refugees. When they didn’t let us in, she took us to a new squat that was about to open–the School.
We were the first people to move in. The day after we arrived, more refugees and activists started to show up. Now I know everyone at the School Squat.
Some fascists attacked our squat a few nights ago. We fought them off. We weren’t afraid of them, but we were afraid of the police showing up and deporting us.
We do also have fun here. The night of the soccer match between Rial Madrid and Atlético Madrid, I was standing with my friends near a Greek cafe. Then the owner of the cafe saw us and invited us to watch the game inside. We all danced in the streets when they won. I love Rial Madrid and I love Christian Rinaldo.
But I miss my family. I really miss my mother.
Back in Afghanistan, when I was still in school, I would come home from school and find my mother cooking in the kitchen. My sisters and brothers were all at work, so it was just me and my mother at home. For Muslims, we say that paradise is under the feet of the mother.
Now my mother and I talk mostly on Facebook and Viper because she cries every time we talk on the phone. It’s so hard for me to hear her crying.
I plan to go to Germany. I came to study. The first thing I’ll do is study the German language.
I’ve been trying to join the official relocation program.
They all say they’ll call me but they never call.