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The dream of reaching Europe while enduring nightmares

04 Aug 2020 Salam Watandar

KABUL (SW) – The severe dearth of basic needs for life in Afghanistan has compelled many young Afghans to embark on the treacherous journey to Europe.

Mustafa Mohammadi is one such youngster who, in order to achieve his dreams for a better life, took the path of irregular migration and went to Europe.

The 16-year-old says that although his family was unhappy with his immigration and repeatedly reminded him of the dangers of irregular immigration, insecurity and lack of jobs to encourage him to stay, but the raging violence, poverty and lack of jobs compelled him continue living outside Afghanistan at any cost.

It has been five years since Mustafa's emigration, but he says he will never forget the consequences of first reaching Iran and later Europe.

Mustafa, whose goal was to reach Sweden, after a few days in Iran, left for Turkey and from there to Europe. He had spent about a week and a half on the way to Iran and during this time he had endured a lot of hunger and thirst.

Mustafa said that on the way to Turkey, he was confronted with scenes that were very painful and difficult for him to forget, and that the Turkish and Iranian police were shooting at the immigrants.

He says he has seen the bodies of young people, mostly Afghans, on the Iranian-Turkish border, and that seeing them has had a devastating effect on his psyche and has become a recurring nightmare for him.

After arriving in Turkey, Mustafa heads for Greece. The inflatable boat that was supposed to take him and his companions to Greece had a capacity of 20 people, but 45 people boarded it. It is difficult for him to recall the migration route, but he says he had witnessed the sinking of ships carrying Afghan refugees. He says those who could swim saved themselves, but those who could not swim drowned in the sea.

Mustafa, who arrived in Sweden with great difficulty, says that the words of the human traffickers should never be trusted.

Fariha Jabarkhil, a consultant at the Immigration Information Center, told Salam Watandar that people's lack of awareness about the dangers of irregular migration could lead to devastating consequences. According to her, even if a person succeeds in reaching his or her destination country, he or she will not be able to take advantage of the opportunities needed to progress in life.

Sayed Abdul Basit Ansari, a spokesman for the Ministry of Refugees and Repatriation, said that awareness-raising programs have been launched by the ministry to provide information in schools and universities about it. According to him, these programs reduce cases of irregular migration and make people aware of the dangers of such migration.

According to the Ministry of Refugees and Returnees, there are currently around 6.5 million Afghan refugees worldwide, of which 500,000 are in different European countries.

Say no to irregular migration!

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