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Yassuf Aminy

Favourite quote/life motto: Life is made of two halves; one depends on us the other not. The half that depend on us we must live in the best way possible.   

My name is Yassuf Aminy. I was born in January 1982 in the province of Daikundi, Afghanistan. I belong to Hazara ethnic group. It was the period of big political and social changes. My father was a small local businessman.

Because of unrest in the country my family moved to Kabul, from there to Pakistan and then to Iran. In the period of war with Russia and the civil war among the Mujahidin and different ethnic groups my family was continuously moving from one place to another in search of peace.
During the time of Taliban when everyone was trying to get out of Afghanistan, we have been shifted to the Quetta city of Pakistan where I get my master degree in Chemistry from University of Baluchistan. Though the Taleban was defeated in Afghanistan inside of all big cities, they still held urban areas.

Their rage was converted towards the ethnic groups and those who fought against them during their governance and after 11th of September for the liberation of the country from them. The main target was Hazara ethnic group.

Being physiognomically distinguishable we were easy targets for them. In Quetta started an ethnic cleansing. We were trapped in an open prison. Way to Afghanistan was highly risky. In the Afghanistan the cities were under control of the government but outside the cities the Taleban were governing with their checkpoints on the main roads. Taking down from the buses or cars all the passengers belonging to the Hazaras and taking them as a hostage or shooting them on the spot. As both of my parents were deceased, the only option for me was to go to Iran.

It is not easy to travel inside Pakistan for us because the whole area is affected with religious extremism. For Afghan refugees it is not easy to live in Iran as well.  After a while I met a group of people in Tehran, who were preparing to go to Turkey. In search of a peaceful place to live I travelled to Turkey. It was winter. On the border, the mountains were covered with thick snow layer, in some areas even of more than a meter. The journey was organized by a man, living in a border town.   The first step of the journey was to go by bus from Tehran to the Turkish border.

Then we had to cross the border in the mountainous area during the night by foot and on the horse back. It was freezing cold. I was with a caravan of the horses loaded with petrol and other things, which they imported illegally into Turkey. The biggest risk was being seen by border guards and shot by them but there is no other alternative way. After crossing the border, we went to Istanbul by bus. The journey lasted for hours.

Living a month in Istanbul, I discovered that without the documents police might have arrested me and put me in a prison as happened to some of the boys. Here I united with another group of the Afghans to go to Greece.
We talked to a group of smugglers who organized this journey. From Istanbul we went to the south, close to the Greece border. In the midnight, I’ve crossed the sea with some other people on inflatable boats. It was a cold and windy night and there was no coastal guard. Early in the morning, we arrived to the Greek island. It was raining and we were wet. We entered into a bar and they offered us a good breakfast. Then the police came and took us to the Mitilene refugee camp. After three days they gave us papers and told us to leave the country within 30 days. We went to Athens. After one week I decided to go to Patrasso and continue the journey. It took time to organize my journey to Italy with fake documents. The only way was travelling by sea. The other borders were closed. I arrived at the Crotone and applied for asylum. We went to Athens. After one week I decided to go to Patrasso and continue the journey. It took time to organize my journey to Italy with fake documents. The only way was travelling by sea. The other borders were closed. I arrived at the Crotone and applied for asylum.

I was shifted to a camp where I started studying the Italian language. It is a very difficult language but my Italian friends helped me to overcome the difficulties and also to get closer to the Italian culture. During this time, I made a handcraft course to learn how to construct the violins.  
Italy is one of the top countries in the world in violin production but in Rome it is difficult for a new comer in this field so I tried in other fields like photography and teaching the Persian language. I got the opportunity of attending a course for cultural mediator. Then I started working as a cultural mediator in a big refugee camp “Castelnuovo di Porto” with hundreds of people inside it. I have worked also as a translator in the civil court of the Roma and in the Territorial Commission for the Recognition of International Protection.

Till now I’m working as a mediator with a social cooperative called “In migrazione”. We work directly with the migrants. I like my present job because it gives me the possibility to work and interact with people from different cultures and language coming from different part of the world. I speak four languages, including Italian, which helps me a lot during my work, especially with migrants. Apart of this our coop organize courses for the operators working with the migrants so me with other my colleagues are the teachers in these courses.
The life is going on. I remember one of my friends from England when I told him that I want to come to him. He said: you are most welcome, but remember that where ever you go you will find the same land and the same sky. It’s you who makes your life.

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