I just longed to be a successful person, to be out of trouble, and help others as much as I can

The war has been going on in Afghanistan, my native country, for about 40 years. Since I opened my eyes to the world, I was more familiar with the sound of a bomb and the world outside than the words of my own mother and father. My childhood was always spent indoors because there was no security outside. I never understood or experienced how it feels to run and play in the park, which is something all children should experience when young. We didn’t sleep well at night due to the sounds of bombs and guns. Our hearts shook with every bomb that dropped and we decided to take refuge in the basement of our house for hours with candlelight. My childhood memories are filled with nothing but war and migration. The only thing I can recall that I liked to do was to get a good night’s sleep without fear.

I have five brothers in total; four older and one young. My father was killed by the Taliban in the autumn of 2006 because he stood up against the Taliban government. After my father’s death, my mother and older brother took control of our own lives. My family is currently living in Germany.

Now I look to my future

Leaving Afghanistan was not an easy decision to make, especially when starting a new journey and you can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. However, we had no choice. It was either to leave or continue experiencing death every day; racial discrimination, rape, and being surrounded by corpses, it was natural that we left.

We left home secretly at night because if others realized that we were going, our lives would be in grave danger. Especially since my five younger brothers would be expected to stay and defend the country. There were many obstacles traveling to several countries illegally, and it is never clear what will happen to you along the way. When you are not feeling well, even surrounded by people, you still feel lonely.

That was my past, and now I look to my future. My vision of my future is different. I am tired of endlessly traveling and I just want to settle down in a permanent location so that I can get a stable job so that can work. As a child, I dreamt of going to Germany, but it didn’t work out. I just longed to be a successful person, to be out of trouble, and help others as much as I can. Unfortunately, when you are an immigrant, your living conditions are very unpredictable. Nevertheless, I will continue onwards in my journey and see where life takes me next.

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Mariia Iefimova
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