A boy, who grew up in war – chapter three

I would like to begin this chapter with the often-heard quote “No pain, no gain”. I think through the experiences I have had in my life I have begun to understand the deeper meaning of this quote more and more. I understood that life is more meaningful, valuable and appreciative when we go through certain difficult phases in our lives. When everything is always going perfectly and there are no difficulties in life, then we start to take everything for granted. We may slowly stop appreciating the things that have been given to us. At some point, certain difficulties have to occur to remind us how vulnerable we are and how easily things can go wrong. This is the time when we begin to realize how blessed we are and how grateful we should be for our health, family, wealth, security, education, freedom (the list goes on and on).

Against this background, the innocent child always struggled against the adversities it had to go through. He still remembers how vulnerable he became because of his disability. As he grew older, the world looked very different than it did in his childhood. He was now a young man and tried to stand on his own two feet to become more independent. So he started to learn to sew for a tailor shop as an apprentice in a shop with the help of the ICRC (International Committee of the Red Cross). After one year of training he was able to sew men’s clothes and now he could either open his own shop or work for someone. He decided to improve his tailoring skills, so that he worked with his instructor for some time besides attending school.

Photo: Ahmad Jewad

He was very happy to earn the cost of his school and now he was able to improve his skills at school. However, because of poverty, people spent little money on clothes, and business was not going so well, so he earned only 15 Euros in one month. Then he thought it would be better if he could open his own shop and maybe earn a little more. So sometimes he worked independently and went to school at the same time. The boy realized that he had to spend too much time in the tailor shop and did not have enough time for his biggest goal, which was education. On the other hand he had to earn some money for his expenses. Then he decided to sell some credit cards and other things on the street as a sideline, so that he would have more time for his school and also earn some money. Life moved on in this way and he became more and more aware of how his disability affected his routine, his social life, his contact with people, his relationship with family and relatives.

He sees in the eyes of everyone doubts about his ability. Although he is physically stronger and is already a teenager, inside he is still this innocent child with many emotions and sensations. He can no longer cry out loud, but from the inside he is more vulnerable than ever. He went through a very difficult phase in his life.

Photo: Nathan Dumlao

In a war-torn society like Afghanistan, the abuse of disadvantaged and vulnerable people by warlords is common. Traffickers of human beings and drugs are very common in some parts of the country, even in the authorities. And this young man was no exception. His disability was an opportunity for some cruel and oppressive people to take advantage of. He was an easy target for drug traffickers, human traffickers and warlords to use him for their work, because he was disabled and could do the work without much control by security or the authorities. However, he fought against all these resistances with the worst imaginable. He continued to work on his ambition and finished his school. At this very moment he planned to continue his studies at the university and one day the universe heard him and opened a new door for him that could change his whole life.

Actually, she was the one who helped me with the application and has stood by my side through all the ups and downs to this day. There are hardly enough words to thank this extraordinary friend (Rokhshana Alamy), because his journey would not have been possible without her sincere support and encouragement. The trip to Malaysia has changed his whole life; a life with so many achievements. To name but a few: He graduated from a prestigious international university with a first academic degree, and today he speaks fluent English and, unfortunately, only moderate Malaysian. He has received several awards for his outstanding academic achievements

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