Ahmed (26)

I left Afghanistan 6 years ago. I had threats to my safety coming from the local community. I used the help of my friend to get to Pakistan. However, I got injured during the travel, so I stayed in the hospital, and then the police took me to jail, where I was kept for five months. After my jail time, I returned to Afghanistan. My intention was still to leave Afghanistan, so I crossed the whole territory and went to Kabul. There I met another friend and we agreed to go to Turkey. With the help of a smuggler, we went first to Iran. I was scared for my life. While we were crossing the Iranian border, we had an accident and two persons died. When I managed to enter Turkey, I hid for five months in the woods, with a group of 19 people. After being in Turkey, I went to Greece. I used the help of a smuggler and we crossed the Turkish border by boat. There were children too in the group. The smuggler took me to Mytilene, Greece and after that, I traveled to Petra, Jordan, where I stayed for 5 years. There, I worked as a salesman, without a working permit. After that, I traveled back to Greece, where I applied for asylum. While I was in the asylum procedure, members of the group who threatened me in Afghanistan found me. They stabbed me several times and I had to stay in a hospital for one month. Still, being afraid for my life, I decided I could not wait for the asylum procedure to be completed, so I fled. For now, I plan to stay in the Western Balkans, so I applied for asylum. I am learning the local language and, if I get asylum, I will try to get employed legally. I am happy here.

However, if I knew how my journey would go, I would not have left Afghanistan. Instead, I would have tried to resolve the threats in a peaceful manner. In the meantime, my mother died, and I regret not being there for her. However, I am trying to stay positive and see the brighter side of the situation.

Joseph (23)

I left the Congo more than 3 years ago. My grandma took care of me, as my father lived abroad and sent us money every month. I had problems with my family and even suffered severe beating from them. From the beating, I had multiple injuries. In the end, because I felt threatened for my life, I decided to leave Congo.

Before I left Congo, one priest took me to another part of the country and he helped me. He called my mother to send money so I can get travel documents. I flew to Turkey legally. I stayed for 6 months at my friend’s house. With the earned money, I could not cover my rent and bills, so I had to leave the apartment. I left Turkey and went to Greece using the services of a smuggler. I crossed the sea by boat in a group of 50 people, and I paid 500 US dollars to the smuggler. He took us to the island of Kos. I stayed there for one month. Because of the Covid-19, I couldn’t seek asylum, and I was relocated to Malakasa, near Athens. I sought asylum in Malakasa and I stayed in the asylum seekers center for more than a year and a half. I was denied asylum two times, and the second time they took all of my documents for the asylum procedure. For the last couple of months, I have lived in a rented apartment with 15 people. The conditions were very bad and I decided to leave the country. I sought asylum in the Western Balkans because I want to get protection, that is the most important thing to me.


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