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Refugees face legacy of hardship

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By Adrian Lancashire
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 parents and siblings from Iran to join him.

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.