She is a petite girl Ada: she is 19 years old, her hair is long and her eye color is reminiscent of that of the young Afghan portrayed in famous photo by Steve McCurry taken back in 1984. Even the look is the same. Sorrowful and brave alike. Because Ada, this is her real name, wants to tell the story ofAfghanistan, of his family whom he has not seen for three years and with whom he can no longer communicate even via mobile phones.
I meet her in Rieti at the headquarters of the Sprar reception center, accompanied by Chiara Curini, one of the operators. On the table, in front of us, three cups of tea and a computer on whose screen is the face of Fahimeh Shahhosseini, Dari language mediator who will act as interpreter. Ada speaks little Italian but understands what I say, even if shyness breaks all the words she tries to pronounce.
He has been in Italy for three years because his family she had to flee from Afghanistan because of her father’s job which was not well received by the people Taliban because he also had contacts with foreign countries. I ask her if after the escape they arrived immediately in Italy. And from the answer I understand that history repeats itself every time and in the same way, when you listen to who has escaped.
Ada, with her parents and brothers left by car from Afghanistan: the plan was to cross theIran and then continue the journey towards the Turkey and the Greece. But at the Turkish border they were stopped by some traffickers who made them get out of their cars (other relatives were traveling with them) to force them to get on, after having divided them, on two jeeps crowded together with other people. Ada tells me that they pushed her and forced her to get into the first car without her family who were loaded into the other.
The father, mother and brothers were brought back and he hasn’t seen them since. He was 16. She managed to reach Greece, but the desire to get away and find a safe haven was stronger and so began the journey on foot passing through fruit salad, Serbia, Bosnia, Croatia And Slovenia. Finally theItaly.
Ada does not remember how long they traveled but she knows that three years of her life she spent crossing theEurope. A continent that today, he says clearly, looks at the situation in Afghanistan with too much posting while the word freedom it has been canceled entirely.
He tells me that Afghanistan has been living in a climate of war for forty years and has always been i Taliban they have great power. The difference is that before they were more hidden and their bases were in smaller villages where they found proselytes by imposing their own rules. They have also always been around larger cities while occupying undisturbed locations around urban areas. Then what happened every day is seen everywhere. But, says Ada, what you see today also happened three years ago with tremendous pressure on citizens, above all young people and women, who wanted to live their life.
Each country has its own customs, but when they are imposed they are no longer freedoms, he stresses. If I ask her about women, her gaze becomes hard and angry because she explains that for the Taliban women have never had any rights, they don’t count for anything.
“We are considered little more than slaves always ready to have their needs met, as people we do not exist and we have no rights. Women have always come executed, most of the time for no reason whatsoever and mostly not in front of crowds, but in desert places or in the mountains. They call it justice ”.
First, because they told her about it, Ada explains that there was certainly a little more freedom, some women could study also based on the family they came from and the journalists had a minimum of freedom, they could talk. “This was before the arrival of the Taliban: now he is alone silence“. She stops and wipes her wet eyes when I ask her if she knows where her parents are.
“Unfortunately I have no news and in fact I am very worried because it seems that the Taliban have destroyed all the antennas that allowed to communicate via cell phone with relatives who are still in Afghanistan. I am unable to contact them in any way, neither my mother, nor my father nor my brothers ”.
But who are the Taliban, Ada? “I am Pakistani who speak our language and have managed to infiltrate everywhere and have done so all these years sponsored from other countries. And everyone knows what I’m talking about, there is no need for me to name them: the sad thing is that the Western world it seems to have forgotten Afghanistan and its people ”. Ada knows: “Man was born to be free and to live in freedom of whatever sex he is, the important thing is to be free”.
Then I ask her what the word means to her courage. “Courage reminds me of all the desires I have and that I can and want to fulfill”. Will your people one day be free again? “I hope that one day theAfghanistan you go back to being a country free, without passing from hand to hand in various Western countries and I hope to be able to return and no longer have to live always with an enemy around. All Afghans hope so and I hope it will happen one day ”.
And what will Ada do? “If one day my country will be free again where everyone and women in particular will be able to live in freedom, my desire is to go back, because for each of us our own country is like a second mother. And as a mother that’s what we want to be close to. Unfortunately, today as today, I cannot go back and I remain here where the word freedom still has a value and where I can express my ideas with people who welcomed me next to me ”.
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