'I wish they could understand we're all human beings'
Sam was 17 years old when he fled Kunduz, Afghanistan. He soon realized that the road to Greece was riddled with obstacles. However, after the murder of his parents, who were killed because they were musicians, the need to save his own life – and the lives of his younger brothers – gave him the strength to endure the journey on foot, the lack of money and shelter, and the bandits and smugglers he came across. Still, he was unprepared him for the shock he experienced on the streets of Athens. He tells his story.
One night in October 2013, I was returning home from music practice – I enjoy playing the drums. Suddenly, a group of 15 people ganged up on me and asked where I was from. “Afghanistan,” I replied while extending my hand to greet them. They only responded with kicks and blows to my head. It was terrifying. I lost consciousness and fell on the pavement, until a sturdy African passer-by helped me up and carried me home. He explained to me that this racist group enjoys brutalizing dark-skinned foreigners.
"We’re all human beings."
For me, one of the greatest challenges facing society, the government and organizations like UNHCR is combating hate. I wish that all could understand this: We are forced to flee our homes; we’re not coming here to cause trouble. I wish they could understand we’re all human beings, living under the same sky.