They Call You a Refugee. I Call You Grandpa. Khazar Fatemi
The real facts on the ground.
During our years as refugees we lived in three countries: Azerbaijan, war-torn Afghanistan and Uzbekistan. During all these years I didn’t know my parents’ real name or that we were Kurds.
It took us 10 years before we had a place we could call home. That was the first time they felt safe and knew they were in good hands. That was when we finally received our citizenship in Sweden and for the first time I could call them by their real names.
The years passed and I was living as a normal child — of course still hiding under the bed during the New Years, when the sound of the fireworks frightened me. The memories and sounds of war in Afghanistan will never leave me.
The second time I was standing in a refugee camp was when I returned to Afghanistan when I was 24 years old. I had started to work as a broadcast journalist for Swedish Television. Since then, I have visited many refugee camps in Iraq, Turkey and Syria. The hard part has never been when I am with them, but when I leave them. I have been the lucky one.