Aspects of a Border
On a winter night in 2017, I crossed border from Turkey to Greece and arrived in Thessaloniki. I was with 14 other people. Several of them were repeatedly pushed back to Turkey after being tortured and imprisoned for several nights. Everywhere we stayed, someone would say, “Let’s leave soon. We were already arrested here last time!”
More than ten hours were spent walking in extreme cold. The weather was extremely cold and rainy. I have experienced many freezing nights in my life. When I was 12 or younger, I waited in line with my mother for hours for oil quotas on snowy nights in Tehran and Sanandaj. Freezing days. But that night was truly harrowing. I am glad I am not on that damn border anymore, even on the coldest nights during these four years. It’s been 4 years but I still think about it.
On the basis of my own experiences, I am collecting and publishing testimonies here:
- Story of Ben“It is incorrect”, he tells the police officer, “I am 17, not 20!”. But the officer says, “I will tell you how old are you. nobody is a miner here!” He complains but the officer forcefully knocks on the door and drives them away. Ben says, instead of asking me “what my problem is?”, “what do I want?” and “why I’m here?”, they just want to prove how old I am!
- Story of LalehDokhtEvery day, I took them to school by myself. However, we were harassed by the Taliban. We were told that studying was not a girl’s job and that it was a sin. But I didn’t want my daughters to grow up the way I did. I wanted them to go to school. I wanted them to live a better life. I also lost my ability to work. Because of that, I left Afghanistan.”