Leaving everything behind in Iran
Ismail is from Iranian Kurdistan. The Iranian regime was after Barzin, his brother, for political reasons. It was clear that soon they would be after Ismail as well. Both brothers left Iran in haste.
Ismail proudly shows us his wedding ring, his only anchor with home. He has left everything else behind: his wife, possessions and his engineer’s career. Ismail’s wife has also lost her university lecturer job. It is likely that the Iranian government was behind this.
“Would I want to go back? A government agent reached out to me on my Instagram and promised us a happy and sheltered life back home. I am not naive, I understand that back home I might go to prison, be tortured or killed like it already happened to many others who have returned.”
The harsh European winter was a natural obstacle against people’s movement. When the weather was as cold as minus twenty, the police didn’t have the energy to chase the brothers. They let them go, complimenting their courage. Some other policemen weren’t as kind: they took the brother’s money, their phones, and even Ismail’s shoes. How does a human being manage without shoes in cold winter?
“We never felt safe back home, and our European journey wasn’t easy or filled with kind people…I am between a rock and hard place. I often ask myself: Do I have the heart to carry on? But we still have a chance to reach the UK and apply for asylum there, that is our dream; to be safe.”