KABUL (SW) - "When I returned from the Syrian war, my life took a complete new turn to the point when struggle for survival seemed difficult and overwhelming.
These are the words of a young man from Afghanistan who illegally left Afghanistan for Iran and then left for Europe on irregular migration. Zakir quickly left Iran, following Turkey's difficult path to Greece. He described his journey as a confrontation between death and life, and still cannot believe his luck for being alive.
“When the captain of the small rubber boat was no longer able to control it on the way to Greece, all onboard sank, he recalled. He and his companions miraculously pushed themselves to the beach through the deep water. "Reaching the beach wasn't the end of the story," said Zaker. “We had to spend the next three nights in the terribly frigid forests without enough food and water, and getting out of the woods was another miracle”, he added.
Zaker and his companions spend three nights in the woods, eventually settling in Greece for a while. He said the bad living conditions in Greece forced them to think of moving on: "Living conditions in Greece were very bad, against our expectations. The suffocation began with the lack of proper accommodation, deteriorating health and food. With each passing day and hour, the situation got endangered. And, finally we decided to take the path of another land and another country”, said Zaker.
The human traffickers' propaganda of the good living situation in Germany compelled him and his friends to embark on yet another difficult journey, this time towards Germany. Although he did not know the conditions for going to Germany, he decided with ‘do or die’ determination to go there.
Do or Die
"I needed money to fill the smugglers' pockets," said Zaker. About six thousand dollars. "So, weighing my options, I decided to take the cheap and illegal way”, he said, adding that he reached the highway used by cardo trucks for travelling to Italy. "I hide myself in the middle of the spare tire in the back - a decision in which life and death are face to face" said Zaker. Not sure of survival, he recorded this line on his mobile phone. “I am under the truck. The truck is heading to Italy at a very high speed."
The truck left Greece, but halfway through, when the driver detected Zaker, he called the police immediately, but before the police reach the area, he fled and entered the nearby forest.
Zaker walked for hours in the forests in the border area between Greece and Italy until he fond himself on a freighter crossing. "The port was full of giant ships," he said. “I had heard about these giants, who, with many workers, had the mission of transporting cars to Italy and other countries. Without knowing which ship was heading where, I hid myself under one of the cars. I was lucky, after a few hours I found myself at the destination. "
Where do I stand in this world?
I was looking for destinations on the internet in a foreign land and geography. I did not know where I was on this planet, and on the map, I was constantly searching for the route from Rome and from there to France, which eventually came to my destination. After arriving in France, he went straight to Germany, where he surrendered himself to the police, spending some time in one of the refugee camps, like thousands of other refugees.
Zaker is a young man with a strong rural temperament. He was born in the Ghorband valley of Parwan province. Poverty and the presence of militant groups had made him drop out of school.
He recounted how he initially began the migration: "I left Afghanistan for Iran in early 2017, got trapped in a police station since I was traveling illegally. Iranian police offered me two alternatives to stay alive: return to Afghanistan or join the ranks of fighters on mission in Syria. I had to accept the second option, and went to Syria by join the Fatimyun Brigade. "
He says nothing about the details of his deployment to Syria because of what he calls security concerns. But, it is clear that he had been sent to Syria to fight for the Assad regime and Iran. After years, he still has not been granted a work and living permit in Europe, and is now awaiting a court decision to approve or deny his asylum application.