Jawad was born in 1998 in the Alborz region of Iran to Afghan parents. Being ethnic Hazaras and Shias who have to endure persecution and repression in Sunni majority Afghanistan, his family fled from Ghanznie region during the civil war of the 1990s when his then two year old brother was murdered after Jawads grandfather as the family patriarch refused to take sides in the conflict.
Since most Afghans in Iran count as second class people at best and are worn down in a vicious cycle of (semi)illegality, exploitation, and persecution, he and his parents tried to exploit what then looked like a window of opportunity to seek a life worth living in Europe when its borders were open in the fall of 2015.
FLEEING TO EUROPE
During their first attempt to cross the border between Iran and Turkey the family was arrested and deported to Herat in Afghanistan. There they spent some frightful days in a hotel before they made their way back to Iran and before long made another try to enter Turkey among a group of several hundred other refugees.
When Turkish border guards started to shoot into the air they triggered a mass panic among them during which Jawad managed to make his way to the Turkish side of the border but lost his family along the way. From there on he made his way across Turkey and the states of the western Balkans to Austria alone and arrived here in the spring of 2016. When crossing the Aegean from Turkey to Greece the rubber boat carrying Jawad got into distress and he lost all his belongings in the course of. Devoid of his mobile phone he had lost contact to the remaining parts of his family in Iran.
Only years later when he by chance met an Iranian acquaintance he was able to re-establish contact with his family and learned that his parents are alive but – having not made it across the border that night – that they are back in Iran again.
Here in Austria Jawad suffered from depressions and showed symptoms of PTSD. He was shuffled between different refugee accommodations in several Austrian states but none the less managed to get himself into language courses and schools. His depressions, the sleeplessness and fatalism got better when he learned that his parents are alive but worsened again significantly when his request for asylum was declined in 2018. He dropped out of school and spent some time in a state of depressed paralysis. After some time Jawad realized that he had to pull himself out of that malaise. He objected to the ruling in his asylum proceeding, got himself a room for rent and a place in a school for social vocations. The thing most precious to Jawad here in Austria are his friends, among them fellow Afghans, Austrians, Chechens, and many different nationalities with whom he cherishes to play football. He hopes to be allowed to stay in Austria and to be able to lead a life in security here.