"I got attacked two times. The first attack was normal. A rocket just came and went in one window and came out another. Then I was leaving one province and going to another province, I got attacked there by an RPG."

Painting by Elizabeth Thayer

Painting by Elizabeth Thayer

My name is Musa. My dad was in the military and also a civil engineer and he was educated. I graduated in computer science. I am a computer scientist and a graphic designer. And my brother, he’s Down Syndrome and blind. My mother is a biology teacher. My wife is 23-years-old. She is an artist and painter. She is in the tent with my son. And my son is five-days-old. This is my family.
We had different problems we were facing. First off, my dad. He was working in the military. So he got attacked and he lost his eye. And he has stitches from here to here. A piece of metal entered the left kidney and came out from the right kidney and he was something like a week, or maybe more than a week, in a coma. So he left the army and he studied and was working doing projects — like irrigation projects, canals; these projects he was doing. He got warning letters [because one terrorist group didn’t like the international sponsors of the project he was working on] So he got warnings: “Don’t come again here. You’re going to die” or something like this.
So the second reason is myself. I was working as a biometric officer in the army on a project from the United States of America. So the project was funded by the United States… I was doing the biometrics something like security program project for the military. I was registering [soldiers by taking] fingerprints, eye scans, all information from each soldier. [In this position he would find who might be terrorist spies and report them to the government.]… So I got attacked two times. The first attack was normal. A rocket just came and went in one window and came out on another. I was sitting in the car… I was leaving one province and going to another province, I got attacked there by an RPG. But it was something I said, ‘OK, it happens. I am military. I am working for the military. It’s OK. I have to get used to this stuff. I’m safe, I’m fine. It’s something that is normal. It was an RPG attack. It passed away without any problem without losing anything.’ And the second attack, when it happened, was a magnet bomb. I was sitting in the car. And I was thrown out the front glass of the car and I had 152 stitches in my whole body. The most dangerous injury was my hand; I was almost to lose my right hand.
[This attack occurred] when I was going to the capital, to go to my hometown. I was followed by a motorbike rider and he was covered with a scarf, a big scarf, a black and white scarf. And he had something in his jacket. So he was riding the bike very fast and very slow. He was trying to overtake us and then he was slowing down. The third time the security man in [our] car said to him, “Don’t get close to us. Just go back.” When we came close to a village, very close — something like a hundred meters, he increased the speed of the bike and attached a magnet bomb to the car and just raised his speed and turned into the village. I don’t know, it was maybe five seconds, seven seconds - the car exploded and I was in the car. Two of the guards who were sitting in the back seat — both of them were killed. The driver and me — we survived. I came out from the front glass of the car. My shoulder touched the engine; I don’t know what was it — it was super hot. When I pulled myself back I saw my skin and my muscles were cooking there. I saw with my own eyes. I stand up. I say, “I’m OK. It’s only my shoulder.” The military stopped and asked me,”How are you?” I said , “I’m fine. I have no other problem. I’m safe.” They said, “ Are you OK?” I said, “Yes, I’m Ok.” But the blood was coming from everywhere. I didn’t even see my hand. Something just closed my eyes. I thought I was sweating but whenever I tried to clean up, it was blood. I was trying to clean up my whole face but my right hand was not working. I just wiped my face with my left hand and I said, ‘I am fine.’ And after that I don’t remember anything... When I came back I quit my job.
Musa Erased Wm
©2017 Elizabeth Thayer / TSOS
My Mom is an expert in biology. She was a teacher in a government school and a girls’ school. She got poisoned two times in school [for educating girls].
We were a rich family in Afghanistan. I had car. My dad had a car. A private house. Plenty of income monthly. My dad was a civil engineer and was earning enough. My mom, myself, I was working. So economically, there was no problem at all. Nothing. We are not here for economic reasons. We are not here for vacation. We are not here for having fun. We are here due to security reasons. I’m educated. I know five languages. I have skills. My wife has skills. My mom has skills. My dad has skills. We can use them… My life is important. My family’s life is important. I shouldn’t have to say goodbye but I did. I don’t want economic support from any other country. I just need security. I just need peace. I just need to live.
In a time I was playing with life; I was enjoying, but now life is playing with me. I don’t know what is my destiny. Or how long I will be staying here. We will see what will be our destiny and what they will decide for us.


Musa, his wife and baby, his parents and brother fled from Afghanistan after having survived 3 bomb attacks. They are currently hoping to enter the EU. His face and name have been altered for the safety of him and his family.

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