I am a young woman from Kabul. I had a lovely life with my family. I studied and worked, though it was maybe not my dream job. When the Taliban occupied the country, my brother and his foreign friends helped me and my two other siblings to flee Afghanistan.
We left the country with a Dutch plane. Our first stop was Pakistan, where we spent a night. Then we were taken to The Netherlands and brought to the refugee camp in Zeist. We were quarantined for a few days because of covid.
Missing my family and life
In the beginning, I was very happy that I survived and was safe. But it was also hard. Soon I started missing everything I had in Kabul – my family and my life. I always talk to my friends and family in Afghanistan. I hear horrible things from them which makes me very upset and sad. My female friends are not allowed to work and their youngest sisters are not allowed to study at school anymore.
It is obvious that leaving your country and going somewhere else has its problems. As I started living in a different country that culturally is so different from Afghanistan, with a different lifestyle, clothing, and even the weather being completely different, I faced many moments of culture shock.
How to start a new life
People like me, who are forced to leave their country, also wonder: how to start a new life? What does society want from you? Do your talents and skills match the requirements for the job you are applying for, and will you be accepted or not. Often, I was completely lost and I couldn't see my future. It is very hard to stay stuck and not know what to do or what life will bring to you.
Then, after staying for months inside the camp and doing nothing, I decided to bring some changes to my life. I had met some very nice people who are helping me. I applied for a few volunteer jobs with different organizations. Some rejected me. But fortunately, I met a social worker at MeanderOmnium, she brought me in contact with the community center het Volle Hof to meet other people. That‘s why I started working there as a volunteer. A few days later I started working in a library where I was arranging books with a good friend of mine, Nikki. Working in a library is fun and interesting for me.
A very kind and supportive woman introduced me to two coaches who support me by recognizing my interest, talents, and dreams. Through them, I got to know young people who shared their expertise in make-up with me. I visited a fashion academy that was completely different from what I was expecting. And after that, with help of one of these coaches, I was introduced to experience one day with a young fashion designer.
After 10 months of being sad and believing that we don’t deserve happiness, suddenly a miracle happened when we received an email from the USA Embassy that they are going to transfer us to the USA within 90 days. We will join our family, who is living there.
I still have mixed feelings. It is hard to say how I feel, whether I am happy or sad. On the one hand, I left behind everything I loved, which makes me very sad. On another hand, I am waiting for a good future and I hope to have my parents by my side one day. And last but not least, I hope that one day there will be peace in my country so that all Afghans go back and can enjoy happy family life together.