The first protagonist of 2021 is an artist. She speaks seven languages and finds peace in music, painting, and nature. She spent the majority of her life in Pakistan, but she and her family are originally from Afghanistan, a place she has been missing since she was 14.
“Afghanistan is freedom, I love the mountains there, people are relaxed, you can have deeper conversations with people […] I know it is a country of war and violence, and that the conditions there are difficult, but for me, it is like a Disney movie, I would love to watch it again, and again, and again…”
She can’t visit her beloved country because she is not allowed a passport due to her asylum status. After a time spent in a refugee camp in Pakistan, our hero and her family moved to Barcelona. She found a lot of support in her mother and professors at school.
The biggest challenge besides missing Afghanistan is dealing with loneliness. Painting, music, art, and long walks help her. She is trying to create a routine and hold onto it.
“What’s difficult for me sometimes is doing things alone, but I am learning how to do it. […] I ask myself ‘with whom are you going for a walk with?” I’m working on ‘it’s the same, go alone’…”
Our protagonist learns Catalan and is working at the Red Cross as a volunteer to support migrants. Through this experience, she learned how important it is to treat refugees as equals –
“[…] people feel more motivated and stable if you treat them equally”.
We at the SO-CLOSE Team admire her strength and thank her for the time and experience she is sharing with migrants. We hope she will find a lot of friends soon and wish her to get the opportunity and visit Afghanistan one day.
From so far to so close.