An Unexpected Journey: The Story of Afghan Refugee, Hadiya

My name is Hadiya Amini, and I was raised in a large family that included my grandmother, my uncle’s family, my father, my mother, and my older sister in Wardak, Afghanistan. We moved to Kabul because there was no girls school in Wardak, and my father and uncle decided that we should be educated. After five years, my uncle found shelter and settled in Prague. After that it was me, my sister, my parents, and my grandma.

After graduating from high school in Kabul, I immediately enrolled in a university to pursue a degree in computer technology. However, the circumstances prevented me from completing my studies in one of my favorite places in the world. I was working as an intern with the interior ministry at the same time. We had a normal and happy life. When I woke up one morning, I heard that the Taliban had taken some provinces from the government. This was a cycle that had occurred over the previous 20 years, either the government or the Taliban would take a province. However, people in the ministry believe this time was different than past ones. We were terrified and concerned about our country,  future, and education. Then, they took Kabul and tore into the president’s office. The president left the country on August 15, 2021. In particular, we were concerned for the lives of my sister and my father because they both worked in the media and the ministry, respectively. We received a call after after 15 or 16 days telling us that we needed to leave Kabul and travel to Mazar, so we left our house and went to the location they had requested.

We arrived in Qatar and stayed for a month. After that, we traveled to Philadelphia and spent two and a half months on a military base there. Those were the hardest days of my life because of the situation we were in—waiting in cold-weather lines for hours to get clothing, food, and shoes because when we left home we only had the clothes on our bodies.

The large group of volunteers from the agency and some Afghan families were among the people I met when we eventually left the military base and went to a hotel. Unfortunately, my sister had to leave the United States and travel to Turkey for her wedding before we could settle into our new home and begin our new lives.

The first time a volunteer visited our home and asked what I wanted her to do for me, I replied that I want to continue my classes. Soon after, she told me that I am able to enroll in college, and that was the best day of my life. She had worked so hard to transfer my credits, but it was not possible, so I had to start over. But I was totally fine starting from zero, because it’s better than not being able to learn at all. That group also found a job for me in a daycare. This was the best experience in my life working with children who are innocent creations of god – it is the best feeling ever. The agency also found a job for my father.

I sometimes believe that Allah sent these nice people into our lives to make our lives easier. I will never forget how they took us shopping every week, scheduled doctor’s appointments for us, found us a home, welcomed us over to their homes, and treated us well. Today, we live a regular life, not like a helpless girl in a military base. I firmly believe that everything will be resolved, and the girls in my country will once again be able to enroll in classes and have normal lives.

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