I was thinking about my friend Abdul Samar the other day. The last time I heard from him, he told me about his job in Afghanistan. He carries a heavy bag of seeds and plants them in the ground to grow vegetables. He also has to dig channels for the water to get to the plants. It is hard work and he has done it every day for the last 18 months from early in the morning.
While he works, I’m sure he thinks of his old life in London. I first met Abdul Samar at a Barnet Social Services conference. I noticed him because he was speaking very good English. I asked him “where are you from?” and he said “what do you think?” I said “from Bangladesh” then everyone was laughing at me. He said “no I’m Afghan.”
Time passed and we became good friends and he studied ICT level 3 at College. We went to the cinema and played cricket together. He was so happy in London. One day I heard that he was in a detention centre. I didn’t even know that he was going to report. He was there for two weeks then they sent him to Afghanistan to a life full of pain and sadness. He told me that my brain can’t imagine how upset he was at that time when they put him in an airplane and inside his body’s feeling went away. That was his first time in an airplane.
When he was in Kabul airport the staff of that airport were so rude and took him to a room and asked for money. They thought that he was rich coming from London but the reality is that he was sent back from London with empty pockets. He said to me: “I feel like I’m in the wrong country. I cried a lot but no one heard me. I was crazy with my feeling. That feeling stays forever in my mind and it will never go from me.”
“So I went to the mosque to sleep there. They let me stay but I was so hungry and I didn’t ask for any food from people from the mosque. They asked me ‘where are you from?’ I told them from Jalalabad and I’m looking for a job. My night was a whole day for me. I was a stranger in my country – I feel like this is not my own country. My heart was full of pain that I couldn’t choose to live in the UK. I could make my life good in AFG but I don’t want a life like people have who kill innocent people. Why would I want that kind of life?
“The second day I stayed in a different mosque. On that day I was looking for a job in Kabul and every was asking me ‘who are you?’ They were asking me to bring someone who knows me like my dad or brother.” Normally when some one is looking for a job they have to bring someone who knows him because Afghanistan is not a safe place and they don’t trust people who don’t have any family. But even his family still don’t know that’s he’s back in Afghanistan. He can’t go back to his village because he had a problem with his village and that’s why he came to London in the first place. He has even changed his name.
It’s hard to be there. People are living in Afghanistan because they have no choice to go anywhere else. I know he is thinking about going to live in Iran and staying in a factory. There are sometimes jobs for Afghans to carry heavy things. He said he might have a better life in Iran, maybe he can make some money. Iran is better to live, but if the government catches you, they will beat you or hurt you.
I get upset when I think of my friend Abdul Samar. He had his ICT Level 3 qualification and a B in maths and his dream was to work in a bank or in a cinema. Now he is working in the fields in Afghanistan and it seems like it was all a waste of time. I haven’t heard from him for a while. Last time I phoned him the number didn’t work. Maybe he has gone to Iran to look for a better life….