The Tough Journey of a Young Afghan Refugee
Shams Patman was flourishing in the rough, dry mountainous Province of Laghman in Afghanistan. He had passed the 12th grade and had done two years further education as a medical technician. In addition to this Patman had completed basic computer literacy and English language courses in his native town. “I was enjoying life in Afghanistan and I must say it was a great time” Patman said dejectedly.
At the age of 17, exactly four years ago Patman was compelled to migrate to Germany as a refugee. The once careless young Afghan now spends his days as a refugee in Berlin. Patman misses his childhood and school friends. Patman remembers those days as a golden era of his life. “I miss dozens of very good friends in Afghanistan” he admits. He would go to school with them and later in the day they would all go swimming in the chanell and then go on to the gym. Patman lived a very busy life and spent the last few hours of the day training to be a nurse at a clinic.
Then for certain reasons we do not want to express here, Patman left those cherished streets for the unknown and a tough journey on the way to safer parts of the planet. Livid in Afghanistan became unbearable, particularly for modern and liberal people. Although an elected government is in power, conditions are suffocating and chaotic in Afghanistan. “I started my journey, but wasn’t sure whether I would complete it alive or dead. ” Patman recalls the risky journey. October 4 of 2014 was his first day on German soil. “It was a totally new world for me” Respect for the opinions of others, love of humanity, and freedom of expression astonished the young Afghan boy. “I often wondered whether I was dreaming”, he laughs.
The chirping birds on the branches of the trees make the environment very pleasant and romantic in the lush green of Treptower Park with the Spree flowing down one side. Patman is impressed by what the German government gives to its citizens. At first, being a Pashtu speaking Afghan refugee made communication problematic for Patman, although all the fantastic government services were available to him. But after the long risky journey from Asia to Europe, learning German wasn’t a big issue for Patman.
“I didn’t miss a single language class and even rain and snow didn’t stop me!” Patman smiles proudly. I tried to read as many books as possible to learn to read, write and speak German quickly, he adds. A language course increased his thirst for education. Now Patman doesn’t need a translator anyome but can communicate without any difficulty.
Recently, he passed his B1 level in German and has got admission to B2. After finishing B2, Patman wants to apply for an internship in the medical field. “I would love to work for the welfare of the people and that’s the sole reason of choosing medicine”, he said with great satisfaction.
When asked about a past incident which made him happy, Patman pauses for a few seconds, leans back to bring the story back to mind: “Once I was travelling with a friend near Schöneberg Station and I saw a pretty, young girl who was semi-conscious. I saw her bag and cellphone were laying scattered on the ground. When she saw us her eyes grew big and she dragged her cellphone towards herself and was frightened someone might snatch it. But I showed her my phone, smiled and gently asked if I could help her. Then she understood we were no thieves. She opened her cellphone, diaed l her mother’s number and asked me give her the address. I talked to her mother and waited till she arrived. When she came, the sick girl thanked us with dry lips and half closed eyes. She looked at us before leaving and smiled a bit embarassed because she took us for thieves at first sight.”
Not: This story is part of a brochure in the making by Noor Badshah Yousafzai. He is a journalist and contributed articles to media outlets such as e.g. the BBC Pashtu and is also an editor for The Pashtun Express. As soon as the brochure is printed, we’ll publish it here on our blog. Until then, we want to share the stories with you individually, one by one. by- Interaxion ist ein Projekt des offensiv’91 e.V. / www.offensiv91.de