travel of a refugee

AFGHANISTAN

I’d been living in AFGHANISTAN for almost 11 years.

In AFGHANISTAN our lives were very bad. There I never went to school because there our lives were very bad. When I was 6 years old I had to work.

When I was 7 years old my father has been killed. I wished to go to school but I couldn’t because I had to work.

At home we had just an old radio and when I was listening to it, I said to myself that one day I would be able to make something like that because I liked technology and now I still like it.
I said to my mother I wanted to go to school. But she said “you must work for us”. After my father death I was the older son of my family.

After my father death I have stayed with my family for 3 years. After 3 years I went to IRAN for work.

IN IRAN

I came to IRAN with smugglers.
I went to ISLAMQALLAH, near the border. At night I spoke with a smuggler but he told me that I needed 1 000 000 toman (name of the money in IRAN) – 700 euros- to go to TEHRAN .I said that I didn’t have 1 000 000. He told me he would bring me to TEHRAN only if I paid 1 000 000. I said it was ok and when I reached TEHRAN I would give him 1 000 000. He said ok. At last he told me we would have to walk only during the night.

From ISLAMQALLAH to TEHRAN we walked about 18 days. We slept during the days in the mountains. It was a very hot summer. We were hungry and thirsty, especially thirsty. After 18 days we reached TEHRAN.

In TEHRAN suburb the smugglers caught me because I didn’t have money. I had to stay with them during two weeks. After two weeks one of them said: “if you don’t have money you must work for us”. But I asked him: “for how many days will I have to work for you?”. He said “3 months”. “It’s a lot” I said but he told me “it’s not a lot and I started to work in the fields, buildings…
I worked there during 3months and after he told me that I was free. I was happy and then I went to the town.

I wanted to study not only to work. In AFGHANISTAN the Iranian government published advertisements saying: “come to IRAN for education». When I was in AFGHANISTAN I thought IRAN was good for AFGHAN people, but when I arrived in TEHRAN I saw that the people there were not so good with AFGHAN. There I thought I made a mistake.
Then I went to a school. The headmaster asked me: “do you have money or refugee card?” I told her that I didn’t have and she said I couldn’t register because I had nothing.

As I saw it was not possible to study I looked for work. There was a lot of work for AFGHANS because their salaries were very low.
After one month I found a job in a foundry. My boss gave me 10 000 toman a day. But I couldn’t go outside because I had to work 17 hours from 3 in the morning to 8 in the night. I have been sleeping in the factory.
When I was on holydays I used to go in the market or in the park. There people wanted to arrest afghan refugees. The police always arrested afghan refugees and beat them. I have been in IRAN for 4 years but I went only 4 times to the market because I was afraid.

After four years as I had spared 1 000 000 toman I went to Turkey

IN TURKEY

After IRAN I went to TURKEY. I crossed the border at night and I reached a village. The name of that village was VAN. In VAN I had to protect my self from different problems and difficulties.
We slept in the mountains and there it was so cold in that cold winter at last we left VAN with a truck. In the that truck we were 140 from different nations: Pakistani, afghani, Iranians etc… we travelled abut 24 hours. In that truck we were hungry and thirsty and we had to overcome many difficulties.

At last we reached ISTANBUL and the smugglers took us to a hotel. There Turkish people kidnapped us to take our money. Once they had got it they let us go.

After we left the hotel we went to IZMIR near the border to enter in GREECE by sea with small boats. 40 persons were in our boat without engine. I thought it was worst period of my life. And frightened, we invoked the name of almightily ALLAH and we crossed the sea in peace and we reached GREECE. This cost me 380 $.

IN GREECE

I arrive in GREECE in the morning, at 7 o’clock. The GREEK police took us to a camp. This camp was very dirty I have been in this for 23 days.

After 23 days the police sent me to another camp witch was for minors refugees. The director of this camp told me it was full and that I must go to ATHENS.

Then I went to ATHENS but I had just enough money for the ticket and nothing for the hotel. When I reached ATHENS I only had 7 euros. I saw that in ATHENS there was a lot of refugees who were sleeping in the parks. I slept one night with them and after I left ATHENS to PATRAS.

I arrived in PATRAS with my 7 euros. I found that PATRAS was like ATHENS. I have been in PATRAS for 3 months. Most of the nights I had to look for food in the bins because I had nothing. In PATRAS all refugees wanted to go forward but the police didn’t let us go.

After 3 months I came back to ATHENS and then I went to the camp for minors. We were sometimes more than 200 minors there. There I have been for 9 months I became lazy because we only ate and slept . Nevertheless I learnt German and Greek. Sometimes I went by foot to the beach, near Mytilini – 9 hours’ walk. I had no money for the bus. I didn’t have any future there. I found work for 3 months harvesting oranges. With the money I spared, I paid 500 euros to a smuggler and I had 200 euros left.

Then I went again to PATRAS and I succeeded to cross to ITALY

IN ITALY

I came to ITALY in truck. We were 18 people in small place and we have travelled for 58 hours in that truck. We were hungry and thirsty.

Once in Italy we had to wait three hours in the truck during the police check. Then after 4 hours on the road we called the driver, knocking on the side, and he stopped the truck. Then he opened the door and saw that 18 people were inside the truck. He took a piece of wood and wanted to beat us we escaped but I was the last one and he beat me. I said thank you and when he wanted to beat me again; I escape.

Then I went alone to the city centre, in the suburb of VENISE, and the train station. In the city I asked every body in English where was the train station but they didn’t answer me. Nevertheless after 4 hours I found a train station. I went to the ticket centre. There I saw an old man. I said “hello” and then “could you give me a ticket for ROMA?” but he spoke only Italian. I said to him “do you speak English?” but he said he didn’t. Then I went to the waiting room and I sat on the chair. I saw somebody coming to me and I asked him “do you speak English?”. “Yes” he said. Then I asked him “how can I go to ROMA?” “From here” “but I don’t have ticket”. He told me “when the first train comes here, take it and after two stations you get off and you go to another train station. There you can get ticket for Roma”. I said “thank you so much”. At last he told me “you will get ticket in the train”. I said “OK” and I asked him “where are you from?” He was from BULGARIA.

Then the train arrived, I went in and after two stations I got off without having paid anything. I went to the ticket centre “hello, I said, could you give me a ticket for ROMA?” He asked me “when do you want to leave?” “Now”. “At 6 o’clock it’s good?” “What time is it now?” I asked. “4.39”. “At 6 o’clock, it’s nice” I said and he told me a ticket to ROMA was 45 euros “No problem, but will have to change trains?” he told me “yes you will go to the last station and you will have to get another train”. “Ok thank you”. I waited about 1 hour and half in the train station then I travelled 15 hours. I reached the other city where I had to change train. There I didn’t find my train for ROMA. I wandered in the train station during 4 hours without finding this train. I was very tired as I haven’t slept in the train. At last I found it. I reached ROMA after 2 hours. There were a lot of refugees sleeping in the parks.

I have stayed in ROMA for 2 days and then I went to FRANCE.

IN FRANCE

When I was in GREECE and ITALY I thought FRANCE was good but when I reached Paris I saw it was like GREECE and ITALY. There is lot of refugees and they haven’t any future.

In PARIS I slept one week outside. After one week I met somebody was helping refugees. I asked him what I must do if I want stay in FRANCE. He told me “if you want to stay in FRANCE you must get your ID card.” But I said “my ID card is in AFGHANISTAN, how I can get it?” He told me in AFGHANISTAN there are 3 express mail companies. You must tell your parents to send your ID card and I will give you their addresses”. I said ok and I called my parents. They have accepted to send me my ID card. Waiting for it I slept in the parks. When I got it I showed it to him and he translated it into French.

Then with my ID card I went to the children social welfare office (aide sociale à l’enfance – ASE). There the social worker told me “now we give you an hotel room but you must wait for age medical test. If doctors say you are underage we will send you to a family or a foyer. If doctors say you aren’t we can’t help you.” I took the address of the hotel and I went there.

Now I have been in the hotel for 3 months but I still don’t know when I will go for the test. ASE gives me 84 euros a week but nothing for clothes

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