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Refugees face legacy of hardship

Abdullah Bakhshi, 24, was born a refugee, in Iran, but he has left it and is currently in Lesbos, Greece, hoping to move on to Germany and bring his

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Refugees face legacy of hardship

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Abdullah Bakhshi, 24, was born a refugee, in Iran, but he has left it and is currently in Lesbos, Greece, hoping to move on to Germany and bring his parents and siblings from Iran to join him.

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"I can't return to Afghanistan even with a degree in civil engineering; there is no room to work, study or live."

His father fled Afghanistan during the Soviet-Afghan War 30 years ago, seeking safety in Iran, and then raising a family.

But none of the Bakhshi family have Iranian citizenship, and so prospects for work have always been limited, even though the children got a university education.

Abdullah’s father, Mohammad Jom’e Bakhshi, said: “From early morning to night I work to support my children. We have been through suffering and hardship here. God knows how much.”

Father, mother, brothers, sisters… all have spent years denied a right to belong, existing within the limits imposed on them as a refugee family.

One of Abdullah’s sisters, Leila, said: “I’ll graduate with a masters degree in a few months, yet I won’t be able to do anything with it in Iran as I don’t have a work permit. I can’t return to Afghanistan either, since with a degree in civil engineering there is no room in Afghanistan either to work, study or even live.”

Abdullah has lived his whole life as a refugee because of the Afghan conflict of the 1980s; he wonders how Germany will receive him.