About Refugees, By Refugees
Trigger Warning: Suicide
This interview was provided without the questions that were asked by the interviewer.
My name is Mahtab. I am 45 years old and I have two sons and a daughter. My husband was a policeman and was martyred in Afghanistan.
Now I live in a community house. We do not have good conditions. It is a small and overpopulated house. The Kitchen, washroom, nothing is good..
I do not go to work. I always stay at home and spend most of my time embroidering and sewing. Sometimes I go out and also cook. I have no other recreation.
The thought of reaching my son one day makes me feel happy.
I struggled a lot on the way to get here. I am still struggling since I arrived here. I used to live in a tent inside the camp. I could not sleep most nights at all because I was very scared that someone might come in the tent and bother my daughter and son. I lived inside the tent for a year, then moved into this house, but it has its own difficulties too.
I do not feel good. Several times, people have taken my and my daughter’s Hijab when we went out.
My son was very bothered and bitten inside the camp. He did not stay here and moved to Sweden. We live apart now, and I miss my son too much.
No, I did not think the situation here would be so difficult, but I had to endure it for the sake of my children.
Just the thought of reaching my son one day, helped me. I gave myself hope.
Covid-19 made me very sad. I had a fear of illness and quarantine. I could not go out. It was very hard.
I had to escape because of the war. My husband was martyred, my brother was martyred, and I was extremely afraid my sons would be killed any time. Taliban forces attacked our house and killed my husband in front of my eyes. I was shot too. I cannot talk more about it.
When I think about that time, I get nervous. It is too difficult for me when I remember the murder of my husband and brother. What would happen to me if I am deported to Afghanistan? The war is not over. How can I live there with all these fears?
It was very difficult for me to be on the way to Iran for a month, there we were kept in the smuggllers’ house because we did not have enough money. I had a hard time getting to Turkey from Iran. I had run out of money and had to work as a tailor. I worked 12 hours a day to make enough money for expenditures and the rent. I found that living there is also difficult for me, and I could be deported to Afghanistan. So I came to Greece. On the way to Greece, we stayed in the forest for 10 days. It was very hard. We were 50 people in an inflatable boat. The boat was full of water. It was very scary. I was holding my daughter and son tight in my arms and hoped nothing would happen to my children. I was afraid we would sink.
I always think about the hardship, starvation, thirst, and walking barefoot. It was too difficult.
When my children were with me, I was happier. I have been in Greece for 4 years now and I am still in an uncertain situation. My sons moved to Sweden and I left alone with my daughter. I do not know what fate awaits us. These thoughts bother me a lot. Sometimes I want to commit suicide or throw myself in front of a car and find peace and comfort. But the thought of what would happen to my daughter has prevented me from doing so.
I did not think I could bear this hardship but I could. Sometimes people become stronger than rocks, but it still impacts me a lot. Just as a small example, when I go looking for something, I forget what I went for.
I gave hope to myself that these hardships will end and I will see the result of my efforts.
When we were in Afghanistan, my dream was to go to Iran one day, so that my children could go to school and build their future.
When I left my country and was on my way, my dream was to see consequences of the hardships I had endured for my children, and see my children succeed.
When I was in Afghanistan, I worked hard and prepared food for the soldiers. I also prepared food for the Taliban forces. Being strong was my strength, but now I can no longer do that.
My dream now is to have my family together again and live with my children.