LEAVING GAVE US FREEDOM

It was in early December 2016 when we met Bano at the Faros women's walk-in center. She came to Athens from Northern Afghanistan – and brought her four children with her. Here's her story.

Reporting by Talitha Brauer and Natalia O' Hara

 

 
 Bano from Afghanistan lives in Athens with her daughters and hopes to be reunited with her 15-year-old son in Germany. Photo: Talitha Brauer

Bano from Afghanistan lives in Athens with her daughters and hopes to be reunited with her 15-year-old son in Germany. Photo: Talitha Brauer

"I had many enemies in Afghanistan and this pushed me to leave the country. I didn’t want to stay in Greece but to go to Germany. Then the border with Macedonia closed. I traveled from Afghanistan to Iran to Turkey to Greece. I traveled four days from there to Macedonia, but the border was closed so I came back to the camp, and I live in the camp now.

In camp, at first I lived in a tent, they gave us food and blankets, now we have food, clothes and a canteen. I am good with this. There’s an ambulance in camp, and they are kind, and I am happy about this.

I have four daughters and one son. When I divorced with my husband his family wanted to kill me. My fifteen-year-old son lives in Germany, so I came here with my four daughters. We have a problem because my daughters are young, so I hope I can soon connect to my son. I am applying for asylum in Germany and trying to re-connect to my son.

 
My husband did not let us go out, we had to stay at home all the time. Leaving gave us freedom
 

I’m so happy that I have freedom in Greece. We can go to the Faros centre, we can come here to shower – I am very happy. We go to the weekly bazaar shopping for food, and if we have money we can buy something for ourselves. We are so, so, so happy about all the freedom – we can go out alone! My daughters go to school. I am looking for a job for my eldest daughter, but it is difficult because she does not yet speak Greek. My daughters are eleven, seven, nineteen and twenty-one.

My hope for my girls is that they will find good men, go to university and get good jobs. I am looking for a good place to live in Greece. I hope to go to Europe and leave Greece."

 
 
 
 

 

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