Read Our Special Feature: Voices from Afghanistan
Norina - Afghan from Iran  ·  Iran

Belonging: I Work Hard so I Can Succeed Here

I want my family to stay together here where we can be safe.

Norina, Afghan from Iran
Norina, Afghan from Iran
Norina, Afghan from Iran

Photography by Christophe Mortier

I am sixteen years old. I love clothes, I love my hair, I love shopping. I have just completed my first year in the German school. The German language isn’t easy, but I did well, especially in math and science. I work hard so I can succeed here.

I often have to miss school to translate for my family at doctor’s appointments and to go to the government offices to answer questions and make sure our family does everything right so we can stay here. Even though I am the youngest, I have learned German much faster than my brothers and sister, so this is my responsibility.

We laugh a lot, but I also worry. My mother and I have been told we won’t be deported for now, but my three older brothers received a notice that they would be deported within thirty days. I had to quickly find a lawyer to appeal the German government’s decision for them. Now we pay a lawyer each month, but it is worth it, because if my brothers have to go back, it will be very dangerous for them.

I want my family to stay together here where we can be safe. I want to go to school, to dress how I want, to make decisions for myself. My goal is to study at a university. I like it here. I want to stay.

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