Like many Afghans of Shia-Hazara origin, Morteza Ansaris parents fled their country during the reign of the fundamentalist Sunni Taliban in the late 1990s.
Morteza was born in exile in Karaj, Iran in 2000. In the fall of 2015 he ran away from home along with three friends to escape the precarious conditions many Afghans are forced to live in in Iran and to seek a more dignified life in Europe. The four teenage friends made it to Austria via Turkey, Greece, and the states of the western Balkans all on their own.
While still being a minor, Morteza was granted subsidiary protection status. That ended when he reached legal age and he is now waiting for a verdict on his application for asylum while working on his secondary school qualifications.