This is a story of the journey of Khuram, an Afghan refugee who used to be a truck driver and deliver goods for the USA troops in Kabul.
The journey started in 2014 when the Americans decided to close most of their military camps. It was actually rain of fire for those who had been working with them. They became targets because of their work as translators, contractors, workers, and even delivery men. Khuram lived in Kabul and never thought of the side effects that his work with the Americans could have.
First to Iran
But now, like all the other refugees he also has the desire to live a normal live with his family. So he started his journey to Iran, the first country which is located next to Afghanistan, but with the fact that it is not a good neighbor.
Khuram said: ”The only option that came to my mind was Iran but I was not aware of the fact that they don’t treat us or any other refugees good, but still I lived there for a year. Life as a refugee in Iran was unacceptable. If it was only me, I would have no problem, but my kids were not allowed to go to school. For me it was hard to go out, because I was a refugee with no papers.”
He can’t bear to live his life with fear of getting deported.
Then Khuram decided he can’t bear to live his life with fear of getting deported and no education for his kids, so he arrived to Turkey with his wife and three kids. Travelling seven hours to reach the border of Iran and Turkey having the smugglers placed his kids in a tool box was the hardest moment in his life.
The mother of the children was crying all these seven hours and worried if there is enough air in the tool box. She was begging all the way the driver (smuggler) to stop the car and put her to the back instead and bring the kids in the seat, but it didn’t help anything.
Khuram was feeling ashamed and weak because he couldn’t keep his family safe and normal. He was quiet because he knew about the problems that they were going to face, but still he had to finish this journey. For some people it is easy to judge him, but the only defense between him and them is that they are not in his place. It was not a fun journey. Khuram put their lives in the hands of a smuggler and now in the hands of some decision-makers.
Over the mountains
When they reached the border they needed to walk on the mountains for hours. Khuram was holding back bag two kids and his wife was holding their daughter. They walked hours under the open sky. They crossed many mountains. Finally they reached the last and main line, where the Iranian army had got clear instructions to fire anyone, who crosses.
On that moment when they had decided to run 198 meters on the mountain, Khuram felt weak. He held three kids and helped his wife to run before the army see them and fire. They waited for 25 minutes, and suddenly the smugglers told them to run until they reach Turkey. So Khuram started running, but his wife was screaming ”help me!” She couldn’t run fast. Khuram was not allowed to go backwards to help her but he did, and carried her until a smuggler hit him with a big piece of wood. That was the most useless feeling in his life. His tears were running. But finally they reached Turkey.
That was the most useless feeling in his life. His tears were running.
Over the sea
Khuram thanked God that they survived that night alive. They stayed two weeks in Turkey. Then they arrived to water border to Greece where the smugglers put 55 persons in 10 meters black board. It had a new motor that had some problems in the middle of the sea. Everyone was worried and shouting. No one had an idea nor had agreed to go out to the sea with a boat that had no capacity for 55 persons.
So after a lot of trying a young Kurdish man fixed the motor, so they reached Greece. After that point the journey got a little easier. After many days they arrived to Germany and a friend of Khuram’s advised them that for families Finland is a good place, because they don’t have the policy of deporting.
Khuram doesn’t complain that he got a negative decision for his asylum application, because he respects the Finnish people for all their support. Khuram said: ”I share my story, because I always have nightmares. Someone advised me to take everything out and share”.
The story of Khuram happened in 2015 – 2017.