Aspects of a Border

Story of LalehDokht

Ten years ago, her husband passed away. Her two daughters are raised by her alone. She worked on the family farm as well as other households for keeping the family. Her two daughters were raised by her hard work. As soon as school started, she began to combat Taliban and other reactionary thoughts. “In their dark minds, girls are not allowed to go to school,” she continued, “I prayed every day for my children’s safety. Every day explosion and attack happened and it wasn’t safe”.

Every 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.”

Despite going to Iran, LalehDokht realized that she couldn’t live there either. “The conditions in Iran were very difficult, and we were not allowed to stay. Since neither of my daughters could go to school, I moved to Turkey and then to Lesvos, where I found myself at camp Moria.”

“We have lived there for a long time. The tent they gave us was not enough to withstand snow and rain during the winter. It was so cold and water entered easily during the rain, so everything became wet. from the same money I received from UNHCR cash assistance, I paid to get some supplies in order to make the tent a bit stronger.” She told me that local workers who found some stuff on the cargo ships were selling some construction materials to the refugees to make their tents stronger. “I paid 8 euro for each pallet I need” LalehDokht said.

“We couldn’t have enough access to doctor, and my daughters couldn’t even learn another language. My younger daughter is no longer the same person I gave birth and grow it up, because of the stress and hard life in Moria. She has become someone else.” LalehDokht said.

When I saw her daughter for the first time, I thought she is almost 30 years old, but actually she is only a little over 15. She suffers from severe neurological problems and the previous incidents in Afghanistan and life in Moria have worsened her state. The other LalehDokht daughter refused to speak. She just said, “Is there anyone who wants to hear us?”

A month ago, authorities accepted LalehDokht asylum request. Then they informed have to leave the camp in the next 10 days. Also, authorities told them the UNHCR cash assistance is stop.

I met LalehDokht and her 2 daughter in Victoria Square on summer 2020, she was waiting to solve almost impossible bureaucracy process to have access to tax number (AFM) in order to enroll in Helios integration program of IOM to have a house but they couldn’t have any success until then.

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