Sayed Mohammadi arbetar som samordnare på Svenska med baby och var en av fyra talare på UNHCRs evenemang, på den internationella flyktingdagen. De fyra talarna hade det gemensamt att de alla har flytt från sina hemländer och hamnat i Sverige. Berättarprojektet Refugee Speakers Programme är ett pilotprojekt organiserat av UNHCR tillsammans med TEDxStockholm.
How many times might a person flee from their country? For me it happened twice. Once when I was a child and a second time as a father. let me tell you my story.
I was six years old and enjoying my life with my parents in Kabul. Life was full of love and joy. But every day we heard explosions, and I had no idea what was going on. One day I was sitting at home, playing with my toys, and my mother was cooking in the kitchen when I heard a sound like a jet flying near the house but suddenly our home shook like an earthquake and all the windows in our home broke. I was shocked for a while and my mother took me outside the house. It was not a jet or an explosion. It was a rocket strike near to our house. Civil war started in Afghanistan when the Mujahidin took the power in Kabul, and we had to flee. But where? Iran because it is an Islamic country, and we might have basic human rights and we have same culture and language and more importantly it is near to Afghanistan so we could return to Afghanistan soon when war finished.
Our journey to Iran is the worst memory of my life, a long dangerous way with armed smugglers and the shooting of the police at the border. I remember that we had no food and water and I needed water and started crying but the smuggler put a hand on my mouth, saying that the police might hear you and find us. Anyway we arrived in Iran. I was seven when we arrived in Iran and wanted to start school. My mother wanted the enrol me but the principle at the school said that your son have no right to study at school. What? My mother looked at me and asked why? The principal of school said I am sorry, but the decision is not up to me. As a child I had no idea what it meant to be a refugee. but I understood that I had no right to study and every morning I was looking for the children who were going to school. It was my dream to go back to Kabul to meet again my friends and start school. In Iran we experienced very hard and taff time. I remember my father was working hard but several time employers didn’t pay my father because they knew as an Afghan you cannot claim and if you do they blame you. but to be honest I met many good and nice people and found many friends. In 2000 when the Taliban regime fell, we returned to Kabul, like a family who come back from a long horrible journey. We did not buy too much staff. When we arrived in the Kabul our home were destroyed like the entire Kabul city. All our things were stolen but we were so happy. Like a bird out of the cage feeling the freedom. In our own house our own country where you are equal, and nobody judges you by your name and nationality. I miss this feeling. But I could not find my friend and I don’t know what happened to them.
I started studying at school and did my best. It was our responsibility to rebuild the country and I finished the university, found a job and time to love someone. As a young man i decided to marry and the result of marriage was a child.
Everything was wonderful and it was the life I wanted worked so hard for that until the security situation become worse. Dangerous people threatened to kill me for working with Americans, every day I took different ways to my work to avoid being attacked, some of my closest friends were killed. We knew that there is no choice. Stay and die or leave. As a father I decided to leave once again to save my families live. But this time I knew what it means to be a refuge. In the middle of the night, I left the home not knowing when I could be able to come back. And in a blink of eye, we went from a professional financially stable and happy family to refugee. When I arrived to Sweden I was not welcomed and in fact I faced many times discrimination here also. Our neighbours like many other people thought that we came for a better life, but they never asked why we came here and avoided talking with me. And that is why I came here to share my story. We are survivors of war, and I don’t have a home to go back to. If I would have or could have no one want to leave his home. Once again I am doing my best to be a good father and learn new language find new friend but always thinking to millions of Afghan girls which is sitting at home and crying. They do not have to study or work. But I have a dream like when I was a child that one day, I will be able to go back to my home and rebuild it. I have a dream that all the children should be able to go to school and have the basic human rights.
Watch Sayed’s speech on you tube: