About Refugees, By Refugees

Portrait of Refugee Amin Mostafazadeh

Amin Mostafazadeh

Pictures taken in:



Photo and interview by:




Sinawi Medine

Amin Mostafazadeh (30) says his dream is to “go to college after finding… the right woman for life.” Amin left Iranian Kurdistan because, he says, the “Government in Iran not so good with people – Kurdish, with Sunni.” He faced a difficult journey: “We go ten days walking,” he says. “Three days not eating food. Not find water. Nothing. We are right there in the border Italy police get us deport for Bosnia-Herzegovina.” Now in Briançon, France, he appreciates the religious tolerance in his new home: “they think not different Muslim, not different Christian – is so good. I’m so happy with people.” Although this freedom has come at the cost of leaving his family and country behind, Amin remains optimistic about the path ahead: “After go to college we want to help the people like this European people, not just immigrants. Help the old people…I want to maybe make one apartment so people, homeless people is coming to my apartment, eat, shower or anything maybe.”

Trigger Warning:

full interview

Now, you you live here?

Can you describe me the place where you live? The place where you live?

Where you sleep?
In the area?

In the help center. In this city?

Yes, in the city?
In this city in here.

And I would describe it a little bit how what looks like?
Yeah, yeah. It looks.

This is good?
Yeah. It’s so good. So good. Yes, of course.

Uh, you work or not?
In here? No.

OK, uh, what do you, where you spend your time, where you spend your time, your time, how you pass your time? Where you spend it? Now you live in this place and the day? What you are doing? You are boring?
Yeah, I think. Play a little football and eating. Drink the tea, I speak with other people like this.

What are the things that make you joy? What is the thing that makes you happy?
Uh, yeah. I’m so happy because I live in the area and I so happy. Yeah I am so happy  it I come here. I see the good people help the immigrant. I see the good people change you.  They are so change they think not different Muslim, not different Christian is so good. I’m so happy with people speak I so happy being here live.

And how is how is your life since being in Europe? What is it difficult in Europe and what is the easiest?
With Iran?

No in Europe? We are talking in Europe, Here when have been in Europe.

What is the difficulty and what is a good?
I not see anything difficult but I see so much opposition, I see so much points is good, I not see difficult.

Can you tell me, living in Europe, what it feels like to be there today what you feel?
I so happy because I’m three years here I live here, I leave my country, leaved my family, but I so happy arriving here arrive in Europe country. I am so happy.

What do you feel your, uh, you live without your family. Your family are live in Iran, you only leave. What are you feeling?
Yeah yeah.

You miss them?
Yeah. Yeah I missed, I, I miss so much. My mom. In first time my mom after my father and I have I feel bad for leaving in my family but this is life. This is life.

So you accept the condition?

OK, thank you. OK, I will take you in the past.
Mm hmm.

Why do you leave your country?
Hmm. I’m from, I lived city borders in Iran. The name is,  this name. The city is Kurdistan. Government in Iran not so good with people Kurdish with Sunni and Kurdish because Iran is the two uh, I don’t know what they meant to be Shia and Sunni people. I have some problem with Sunni people, government all, for example. I can’t I can’t go to, uh, office government, work, um not find good job. You know, not to have respect for people, for yourself government, not have respect for people. It’s so problem. So problem. You should go to Iran. You see in the near you know, you should go to country. You should like go to Iran. See in the near live in Iran. You see you see every day so much problem. People with government, people with people.

So what you feel is, what make you feel to see people with difficulty and the time when you decide to leave your home country, the time, the time you get the decision? What do you feel? What was your feeling? You feel bad?
Yeah. So bad that maybe a little time I cry you know. But but.

How was the journey to Europe, the trip from Iran to Europe, the journey? How was it? Is it hard?
Yeah. It’s so hard. For example in the border Balkan. You got to Balkan, you know, Balkan, Yugoslavia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Serbia is so bad, so bad. Police do not have respect for immigrant. Yeah. Police in Croatia, for example, take their money, broken their mobile. So bad. So hard, really.

So how you manage this hard moment, how you handle it then?
I don’t know really. I don’t know. Just just stop it. Just stop it at sea. You can’t you can’t speak in the this time. you know? You can’t speak. You see the police not have respect for you. A lot of people not have respect for immigrants. You can’t speak. You can’t. I don’t know. So bad.

Do you think about this event so often in this day, as you said when you arrived in Europe?

The the way you cross from Iran into here. Sometimes when you are alone, when you are sitting here in the place, sometimes it comes in your mind?
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

Well, what makes you?
I not understand?

When you come from Iran, until you have cross from the Balkan.
Yes, yes in the Balkan.

So you confronted some difficulty?
Uh huh?

So now at this time, sometimes you remember it comes in your mind?
Yeah. So much. Uh, for example, in that one time me and five person all these Kurdish, all these Iranian people. We go ten days, ten days walking in the Bosnia-Herzegovina for Italy. Ten days walking night and day and night and days. After we arrive in the border Italy police  get us deport for Bosnia-Herzegovina. Oh my God. Ten days coming Believe me. Three days not eating food. Not find water. Nothing, nothing. We are right there in the border Italy police get us deport for Bosnia-Herzegovina .

So how you handle it, how you?
i don’t know. You should have come with me, You should have see You know.

Now, how are you able to survive? How you what is your plan?
Hmm? I want to go to England.

And after go to college in the first time, go to college. I like the accounting, you know, management bank. I so like it because I go to college in Iran in the past to college for management bank. And we want to we want to help the people like this European people like these people help they make it and help it. And other people, not just immigrants. Help the old people. I want do this. I want to maybe make one apartment and coming home. So people, homeless people is coming to my apartment, eat, shower or anything maybe. Yeah, of course.

Before you leave your country, what was your dream? Before you when you leave your country, what was your dream? Try “My dream was”.
Yeah. Yeah, my dream is Indeed, my country or?

No when you are in your country, what was your dream? What do you want to to be what you like?
I think my dream is in my country. My dream is it may make and found a factory, make the one factory and coming into my country so I so have hungry people, you know, homeless people. But news and television, TV is not for world people. My dream is in my country. Make their one factory, make the factory a small factory, for example. One hundred person can work with me.

Now today?
Uh huh.

What do you for the future? What is your dream?
For the future.

For the future, my dream is?
For the future in the first time go to college in the first time go to college after finding one wife. Find the right woman for life. Just I do not know. Not have plan now. Not a plan.

You are concentrating the moment.

Yeah. okay. Um I appreciate really what for this time and for this interview. Is there any additional you want to say that can help in Europe.

To understand the life of a refugee? To make them understand what is a life of refugee because it’s not all the people know as you know or know me.
Yes of course.

So how do you can you have some advice to say refugees like this or like this? If you have not, uh, Thank you.
No. not have

Thank you very much.
Thank you for your thank you.

Many 1000 Dreams interviews were not conducted in English. Their translation has not always been performed by professional translators. Despite great efforts to ensure accuracy, there may be errors.