Laila Keeling & Anjali Zyla
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I am from Afghanistan. I was born in Iran, but my family is from Afghanistan. I lived in one city for 8 or 10 years, then I went to another city. When I was young, my family went to Afghanistan, and told me to stay in Iran to work and then send them money. I said okay. My older brother had a booth in Iran where he sold shoes. He said he will leave the booth for me, then I can take over. But I said no, I wanted to go to Afghanistan. So, then I also went to Afghanistan. I think I was in Afghanistan for a month, then I went back to Iran by myself because it was just shit.

I have no idea how old I was at that point. I know how old I am now, I’m 22, but I don’t know how old I was then. In Germany, I have some kind of ID document, but I haven’t seen it until now. They didn’t show it to me. So I don’t know exactly how old I was.

In Iran there were a lot of problems. For example, with clothes. If you wear a T-shirt, or you are outside with a girl, there are many problems. You might go to jail; you might get beaten a lot. In Afghanistan, too. Once, I was buying clothes on the street in Afghanistan. Then a policeman came to me and said come here. Then he just beat me. I don’t know why. Just like that. So, I went back to Iran.

I lived in Iran again for a bit, made some money, then I went to Turkey. In Turkey it was also shit, so I came to Germany. After Turkey, I went to a few other countries, but I don’t remember the names of these countries or how long the trip was. This was already 5 years ago. I did not come with my family, I was alone. I think I was in Turkey for 2 months. I wasn’t in a refugee camp there; I was on the street. It was very shitty.

From there I traveled further. I talked to my sister’s husband on the phone, and I asked for some money. I said I need some money because I want to leave from Turkey, maybe to Germany. So, he sent me the money. He was in Iran at that time. Now he is dead. I have no family in Germany, I don’t know anyone here. In Iran, I had a lot of problems, and because of these problems I left. When I was in Turkey, I sat with others and talked to people, and they said we should go to Germany. So, I didn’t do the trip alone, there were others from Turkey who were going, and I went with them.

When we left Turkey, we walked. I don’t know how many days that was from Turkey, but we walked for a very long time. We didn’t eat anything during that time. It’s 5 years ago now, so I don’t remember exactly. But I was in a group, I think there were 1000 people in total. The others sometimes sat down, so some people went ahead and others went on later. But we were lucky, because in Bulgaria the police accepted a lot of people, and then sent them back to Turkey. So, some people were sent back, but I was not. My group was very big and good and we made it, but others did not.

We didn’t walk all the way to Germany. Part of the time we were on the train. I was in so many cities, from Turkey to Germany. The police were also on the train. A buddy of mine was talking to the policeman, but I couldn’t understand anything. He just talked to him, and then it was ok. Then we arrived in a city and there were many people waiting for us. The police there told us to get in a bus, or in a train.

Then when I arrived in Germany, I was in a refugee home for minors. This home was a bit like here. I can’t remember the name of the home. I know I was in Luckenwalde for maybe 2 years, but I don’t remember the names of the other homes. When I arrived in Germany, it was a little bit good, a little bit bad. It used to be very bad. I used to want to be dead, I didn’t want to live anymore. But now it’s okay. I didn’t get any help when I was doing badly. No help.

I’ve been in this home for 5 months now. The director of the home here is good, it’s okay. I don’t really talk to him, only when I need mail or something. I had no friends in Luckenwalde, and I also don’t in this home. Before, there was another Man also from Iran and Afghanistan in the home, but now he lives in Berlin and does illegal work. So, I am alone. I wake up, go to work, play a little bit on my phone, and then I sleep again. I have a job, but I didn’t get my job through the job center. The job center sent me an appointment, but I didn’t go. I found and got my job by myself. I don’t like my job that much, but I do go to work. My German is not good, and at this job I don’t have to read or write. In other jobs I would have to do that. But here I can just work.

I don’t feel like writing. I can read, but I can’t write. Even in Farsi, I can read but I can’t write. I never went to school in Iran or Afghanistan. I did 9th and 10th grade in a German school in Luckenwalde, but I got all sixes. Very bad. I didn’t understand anything. I just slept. Everybody else was talking, and I was sleeping. So, in Germany I was in school for 2 years, but never before. I talked a little bit with the Germans in school, and they were good. Nice. But I was not good. I used to be a bit… my head was not so good.

One year ago, I got my residence permit. Now I want to find an apartment. I don’t talk to other people in the home, because I don’t want to stay here. I want to go somewhere else, to an apartment. I don’t want to stay in the home, I want to find an apartment, maybe in another city. For example, in Luckenwalde or in Berlin. I want to find an apartment now, but so far, I haven’t found one.

The people here don’t help me. I told the people in this home a month ago that I want to find an apartment. They told me to look by myself, but I can’t look by myself. My German is not good, I can’t write either. I have so many problems. I just want to find an apartment now. I have no idea what my hopes are for the future. No idea.


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