Good afternoon [name] ! My name is [name] . Today I will interview you for the project ”Unparalleled special”. European oral history project. And before I start with my questions, could you perhaps tell me a little about yourself? What is your name? How old are you? Which country are you from?

[r] Thank you for giving me this opportunity to talk about myself and the problems. My name is [name] . I am from Baluchistan. But nobody knows this. It is an occupied territory. It is now divided into 3 countries. Pakistan, Iran and Afghanistan. I am 30. I was a political activist in Balochistan. So that’s why I’m here today. In Belgium.

[i] And can you tell a bit more about your country? Do you have your own language and ethnic group?

[r] Yes. It is ethnic group Baloech. This group has been there for thousands of years, as far as we think. It is our country. And recently the remains of civilization were found there. And that connects us also in some ways like culture and many other things with that civilization. And according to scientists it is already 9000 years old. So we had lived there for years and before it was a confederation. And after the British…I’ll make it short because it’s a long story. After the British left the region it was again announced as an independent country: Baluchistan. But after 9 months it was again occupied by Pakistan. We have our own language, Baluchi and other dialect, Perhavi. Two languages are spoken there. We have our own culture, norms and values. We have everything according to the definition of a nation. We believe it is a nation. We have all these things… all those factors of a nation. And after the annexation, Baluchistan never accepted it. First by Iran and then by Pakistan. And another part was given to Afghanistan and not occupied by Afghanistan. This part was given by the British army, by Mr Durand if I am not mistaken. And there is a line between the borders of Afghanistan and Pakistan today and the part of Baluchistan was given to Afghanistan and some parts of Afghanistan were given to Pakistan. The name of that border is ”Durand Line” which Afghanistan also does not accept and neither do we. They have no problem with it either. They also accept that this part has always been of Baluchistan. So we have no problems with Afghanistan but yes, people in Baluchistan are fighting against the annexation of Iran and Pakistan. So there has always been a war. Especially after the annexation of Pakistan after about 70 years so … It has its ups and downs. 5 uprisings have taken place in the region. This is the fifth incidence that started in 2000. And so far it is running… At the moment these are the problems.

[i] And has the situation changed since you were a child? You said it is now occupied by Iran, Pakistan. Has it changed or has it been that long?

[r] It has always been this way in my time. It was occupied by Pakistan in 1948. So I was already born in annexation. But it used to be occupied by Iran.

[i] And what did your parents tell you about this situation?

[r] Not so clear. There were always many stories. As I told you, this is not the first rebellion. Now it is the fifth. The first time it was the day after the annexation in 1948. That was actually the kingdom. The king’s brother started the revolution against the invasion. So these stories… And then another time in 1958, and then in the 60s and 70s… There has always been a war. There were peaks and then it got weaker because of the opression. Because of the reactions of these governments. So it has always been that way there. So we have heard about uprisings. And those people there are called heroes. So of course our parents told us these stories. How our people fought for independence. So we knew that from our childhood.

[i] And how has it been for you to grow up in land occupied by other countries? What were your feelings from childhood?

[r] As I said in childhood, it wasn’t that clear and we were still in school. And when I talk about my childhood, it was the time when the last rebellion was crushed. And things were again so-called “normal,” as they say. But that was never normal. Because people were still fighting in other places and people were fleeing to Afghanistan and other places like Russia. People were fighting in the mountains and in remote areas and the people in the cities didn’t know that. So during those years the uprising was suppressed. So we grew up in the school where there was the Pakistani national anthem. But there was always an organization that BSO called ”Balochi Student Organization” That is so called mother organization. Because it has always played its role to give the knowledge to the students in the schools everywhere. So that has always played a role to let us know about our history. About the history of Baluchistan and its annexation. But life is through annexation…as you ask there has always been a division of people from this part and the people from another part, from families who live in the part of Pakistan and the others in Iran or Afghanistan. This division has always been a problem for the people of Baluchistan because they could not get together. And then these countries have always kept these regions behind. There are not enough facilities, education or hospitals. And many basic services are absent in Baluchistan. So it has always been a problem.

[i] And how was travelling from Iran to Pakistan or Afghanistan when you were a child?

[r] When I was a child I didn’t have to travel and my family’s pack is in Pakistan-occupied Baluchistan. But I generally speak about the people of Baluchistan who live close to the borders. About their relatives on the other hand. So I didn’t have to go to the other side to cross the borders. But it has always been difficult for the people. You need a visa. And you have to meet the requirements. And also technically… We have always been seen as problems that come to cross the borders from this side and they looked at us like troublemakers.

[i] So for example if part of the family lives in Iran and part lives in Pakistan then it is also difficult to visit each other?

[r] Yes it is difficult. It is not impossible but it is difficult.

[i] And what kind of documents; how to say correctly: Baluchi people?

Yes Baluchi.

[i] Baluchi people. What kind of documents do you have? Is there anything in your passport about your nationality as a Baluchi? Or is it just Pakistan or Iran?

Yes it doesn’t matter in which region Baluchi people live they have an identity card of this country. Unfortunately we have an identity crisis. Yes, there is nothing specific about our identity in our identities or in our passports.

[i] So you can’t even have proof that you are a Baluchi person?

[r] No, not really.

[i] Because, for example, if you compare this situation, it is certainly not the same but, for example, in Russia if you have a different identity, it is also in your passport. For example, you can be Ukrainian with a Russian passport. But in Baluchi it is different?

[r] No.

[i] It is written ”Pakistani”?

[r] Yes it is written Pakistani. Or Iranian or Afghan. There is nothing about Baluchi. Only the name of an area or a city where a person was born. But the identity is not clear.

[i] And what kind of feeling did it give to you? To realize that.

[r] It always gave us the feeling and today it also gives us the feeling that we are going through an identity crisis. We can say but people know that not who are Baluchi. People in the world have no idea about Baluchi. Because our voice has always been suppressed. We didn’t get a chance to raise our voice and to introduce the culture and their nation and the name to the world. Until today it is the biggest and the hardest question even for me when someone asks me, “Where are you from? I don’t want to be called Pakistani. I don’t want to be called Iranian. I am Baluchi. But as I have said, there is no document or evidence and it is not recognised as a country today. Or as a nation so… So we have this problem.

[i] It is not even recognized in the world?

[r] No it is not recognized today. I’m talking about now. It counts as Pakistan, Iran or Afghanistan.

[i] And can you tell me a little about your family? Do you have brothers or sisters?

[r] Yes I have 1 brother and 3 sisters. They live in Baluchistan. Khuzdar is my hometown. I am the youngest.

[i] And do your mother and father still live there?

[r] Yes, they still live there.

[i] And can you tell me a little about your childhood? What was it like for you? What kind of child have you been? A little about your character as a child.

[r] I’m trying to remember my childhood. I was a spoiled child. I grew up in a higher class family and in my family, my father is a doctor and an educated person. He has always tried to give us a good education. The school I went to and I was there… I was known in the city… I had a lot of respect from my father and the family. I don’t remember much… The only thing I know is that I was really a spoiled child.

[i] And what was it like for you at school? In primary school?

[r] Primary school was good. I always liked school. I think my father gave it to me. He loves education and studying. He has always encouraged us and told us about the value of education, knowledge and school. So I always liked it.

[i] And when you finished high school I confuse it with Dutch… What did you choose to study at the University?

[r] The education system is a little different there. The first 10 years are called “metric”. That 2 years is called the ”college”. EFC. And then comes the university. So first the first 10 years of basic science. Then I chose computer science for 2 years. At the Institute of Biology. After I finished 2 years at ICC (intermediate computer sciences) I also decided to… I also studied marine sciences at the Marine University which is the first university of its kind in Baluchistan. It was new then. So it was a change. And I also did a bachelor’s degree in sociology.

[i] So you have 3 diplomas?

[r] No, not really. I couldn’t finish the marine sciences because of this crisis. But I was able to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in sociology.

[i] And did you get a chance to work in Baluchistan?

[r] I studied then…it’s actually different there compared to Europe. People start working here at a very young age. After high school. But there it is more…we start working after we have finished our studies. We live with our parents. They cover all our expenses. So I didn’t need to work.

[i] And was it the same for your brother and sisters? Were they studying at university, too?

[r] My brother is now in college. He just finished high school. And my sister is in medical school now. She wants to be a doctor. The second sister has a master’s degree and she wants to be a teacher. And the third sister is very young.

[i] And what is the language of university teaching?

[r] The language is Urdu. That is Pakistan’s national language. They call it that, but this language did not even originate in Pakistan. It comes from India. It originated in India. It is a mix of many languages. Like Arabic, Persian…and Hindi. So it is in Urdu.

[i] So you have to learn Urdu to study at the university?

[r] Yes, you should. To study at university.

[i] And are there schools or universities in Baluchi?

[r] No, there are no schools or universities in Baluchi. That could be a rural area or a remote area where there are no schools. So people just try to teach other people voluntarily. And sometimes they use their own language. But officially there is nothing there.

[i] And how does the process of passing the language on to the new generations happen? Because there are not even any schools. How does it happen?

[r] It has always been difficult. That’s why we feel a tendency to work on our language. Many people work on it alone. They create libraries and try to raise money. They do different things to promote their language. To work on the languages: Baluchi and Ugravi. But so far the government has done nothing in this situation to promote these languages. They don’t want these languages anymore. Therefore, these languages are on the verge of death.

[i] And how large is the population in the world that still speaks these languages?

[r] I’m not sure… I have no idea actually. I don’t want to be wrong. I think about 20 million people.

[i] And as you said there are no schools or universities in this language, does that mean that it decreases every year?

Yes it has…the word is diluted and the other languages influence him and cover him up and we feel very bad about it because our language becomes a mixture of other languages. But it is still there. It is alive. And we hope to work on it. If we get a chance and if we become independent then we can still bring it back in its one and only original form. But now it is difficult to work on the language.

[i] And you said that you started with marine school and could you finish it?

[r] No, I couldn’t finish that.

[i] And can you perhaps tell us about the moment that you realized that you had to flee?

[r] Yes… well, I was already underground before I left for Europe. I had to hide since a long time ago, starting in 2011.

[i] What do you mean by ”underground”?

[r] So I studied at the university and I was a political activist and I was also affiliated with BSO (Balochi Student Organization). So we fought for the rights and student rights. But we also fought for independence from Balochiistan. But freedom of speech is forbidden there or they ask for your rights or for your independence. It is a kind of betrayal for the government. And people are being persecuted for this. People are murdered, kidnapped and kidnapped. Many of the students and members of BSO and political activists are still missing after 10 years now. Today the chairman and vice-chairman of BSO are missing. All these people are missing. They have disappeared because of the government. So the political activists are not safe there. So, as I said before, many of my friends or colleagues were kidnapped and killed. So there was a time when I felt that I was not safe. That I am no longer safe. So I went underground. I was hiding. I stopped studying at the university. That was the reason for quitting. I also left my home. Because they were threatening my family. They attacked my home twice with hand grenades and bombs. So I realized that I can’t be a burden for them anymore. So I went underground with my colleagues from the organization. They gave us shelter in their houses. I had to hide in villages and other cities. I was underground for a long time. After that it was… The government’s grip on us became stronger against all those political activists. And even the people who were underground and hiding they were imprisoned or killed…. It was no longer safe. That’s why I decided to leave the country.

[i] But how does it work? If they follow you, will they follow your family?

Yes, they do. They threaten families. In my town of Huzdar, some of my friends were also involved in politics and they were pro freedom people; their fathers and brothers were killed. Even if they weren’t involved. A 14-year-old brother of my friend was killed. Simply because his brother was a political activist. So the families always pay the price.

[i] And while you were engaged in these activities, did you realize what kind of danger it could be to you or to your family?

[r] Yes. We knew what the consequences would be. We always knew. But then I thought about the misery, the pain and the identity I don’t have and my family don’t have one either. And that is one of the richest regions in the world in Baluchistan with natural resources, minerals, fifth largest gold mine, gas… And those people are dying of hunger… They don’t even have good food and facilities. And on the one hand is all that injustice so even when I knew the consequences and that can be death or family loss you just can’t sit in your home with all those thoughts that always bother you… I went along with my will.

[i] And what was your family’s feeling? How did they react to your activities?

[r] Well, no one in your family wants their child or a brother killed or in trouble. So they didn’t want me to be in trouble, but they didn’t put so much pressure on me to stop. They knew it was my ideology and that I believed in those thoughts. If you take a stand, no one can stop you.

[i] And do you remember the moment when you made the last decision to flee?

[r] Yes. I remember that. I didn’t want to leave my country. But as I told you, the situation was very bad and I thought there was no other way to live there and do something. So I thought, “I have to flee. It was a difficult moment… to leave the place, and people and the country for which you have fought so much. It wasn’t an easy moment.

But what was the last drop for you to say, “Okay. It’s enough. I have to go.

[r] It has always been enough. But I kept hoping that I could survive. That I can survive in the underground. It was already difficult. I had already left everything by then. Even if I was in Baluchistan…

[i] So you didn’t have any communication with your family?

[r] No. When I was there I didn’t. For safety’s sake.

And how long?

[r] For more than 5 or 6 years…

[i] Absolutely no communication with your family?

[r] No. I told them my news by other people. Through other sources or my friends. That I am okay. I got news about them from other people.

[i] And how exactly did they get information about you?

[r] The same way. But sometimes they didn’t get any news about me for several years.

[i] And can you tell a little more about that day when you decided to flee? How did you find your way?

[r] You can’t say a specific day as if I’m deciding now and I’m leaving. It was preparing in my head when the situation got worse. And it wasn’t a decision of 1 day or 1 night and that I just left. And it’s not that easy either. Baluchistan is very far away. It is not like Syria that you just have to cross the sea and a few countries and then you are here. It is a very long route. You have to find people and ways. It certainly took me some time. To plan everything and think about it.

[i] How long did you have to prepare?

[r] The idea was already in my head so I was already working on getting the information from my friends. What are the ways? How can I get out? I’ve received a lot of tips and help from my friends. It took me about 1 year. A little less than 1 year.

[i] And can you tell me a little about the road from Baluchistan to Europe?

[r] Yes. I left Baluchistan and I crossed the border with Iran I went there because we have Baluch people living there and it was easy to get shelter there for a few days. And then from Iran to Turkey, Bulgaria, Serbia, Croatia, then Italy and France and finally Belgium.

[i] Can you tell us a little bit more about the procedures? What was it like to cross the borders? What means of transport did you use?

Nothing is certain there. That depends on your chances. Normally there are people who help you. They take some money. They help you to cross borders. They know the way. That’s their business so they know it very well. They told us to wait in the jungle or near the borders. At 3 or 4 o’clock in the morning… At every safe moment that there was no one so we could walk to cross borders and walk many kilometers. And when you cross a border and enter another country in a city, we used the local means of transport: buses. We always had the guidance of the person who helped us and who did it as a business and was paid for it. So we lived in different places: in tents, in jungles and we had to sleep in the open air. It was like a nightmare… It was not an easy time. In different countries we had different situations. Sometimes we lived in refugee parks like in Serbia, Bulgaria. In Turkey we were given a place to sleep with the help of this man and his friends. They have their people everywhere. Sometimes they rented small private busses with which small groups of 10-12 people could ride in the cities. But all the borders had to be crossed on foot.

[i] And were there mountains or rivers? What was it physically difficult?

[r] Yes, it was physically difficult. The weather was sometimes very bad. Sometimes we had to pass through the mountains and jungles. There is no way to cross a border. You have to choose your own way because there are no specific ways to do that. So we just followed the instructions: “Okay. Now we have to walk 4 kilometers in that direction!” And you just walk. And someone can shoot you or attack you. Anything can happen.

[i] And who is this person?

[r] The border police can arrest you or shoot you. In different countries they have different rules. They can also shoot in some countries.

[i] How many people were in your group?

[r] It was different. When we started in Iran there were 10-12 people. And then it became less. Some people stayed behind. Some were arrested at the borders by the police. Some could cross the borders and escape. But not others… In the end there were 4 of us who reached Italy.

[i] And did you know these people from the beginning?

[r] No. I didn’t know these people at first.

[i] So they were just random people?

[r] Yes.

[i] And what was the most difficult moment for you in the whole journey?

[r] Everything was difficult for me. I can’t choose a moment.

[i] But were you mentally prepared for this journey?

[r] Yes, as I told you, I was already underground by then. I was already living in mountains, in villages, outside my home… by the river, in the mountains, I slept in the open air… Sometimes I didn’t have food for 3 or 4 days. Because we hid in rural areas where sometimes there was no man at all. So I had experienced all these hardships. So I was mentally and physically ready.

[i] So for you it wasn’t something completely new?

[r] Not entirely new. I expected it. So it was what I expected.

[i] And how many days did it take to get from Baluchistan to Europe?

[r] It took me about 1 year.

[i] So you lived in different countries for a few months?

[r] Yes yes. In Serbia and Bulgaria we stayed a bit longer. Because at that time it was very difficult to cross the borders. The borders were guarded and very strict. We tried it 3, 4, 5 times. We didn’t manage to cross the border and we had to go again. It took us a few months.

[i] And what were the procedures when you entered Europe?

[i] And when you had to go on, what were the procedures?

[r] That depends. In many places they send you back or they arrest you. Luckily I wasn’t caught. I’d say I was lucky. Normally when they catch you at the border they send you back.

Back to?

[r] Back to where you came from. Back to the country where you are trying to cross the border. The border police are on the border. So they send you back and say, “Go away! They sometimes frighten you by shooting.

[i] But you have never been arrested?

[r] No. But I was pushed back to another border. But I was never detained in prison.

[i] And in which country were you pushed back?

[r] It was first from Bulgaria to Serbia and then I had to try many times to go from Serbia to Croatia. It was also difficult.

[i] And how did it happen that they saw you? Where exactly was that? I mean what was the situation exactly when they saw you?

[r] They didn’t arrest us. But they just pushed us away and said, “Go away!” And they were there so we couldn’t go any further anyway. So we had to go back.

[i] But they’re not everywhere on the border?

[r] Not everywhere and not all the time. On specific places.

[i] So you just have to be happy?

[r] To find the loopholes. Yes. To break through.

[i] And was there also a specific person who helped you with it?

[r] Yes. There was always someone with us. There is someone in every country. They are already connected. Trafficking in human beings is their business.

[i] So in Europe there was a border police on every border? The borders were closed then?

[r] Yes yes. They were close in many places. Mostly in Eastern Europe. Bulgaria and Serbia. Those countries were very strict. But after crossing the Croatian border we took a taxi. But after that in Western Europe it became easier. We used public transport.

[i] And how did you decide to go to Belgium specifically?

[r] I wanted to go to Europe. Especially to Western Europe. That could be anything. Along the way I contacted my friends to decide where to go. But that could be anything: France, Germany, Belgium. Everything was good for me. But then I spoke to a friend who told me that the procedure in Belgium…because he was recognised here as a political refugee from Baluchistan. I think maybe he was the first case. As far as I know. So he said to me that the cases from Baluchistan are recognised here. And he talked about many opportunities for refugees here. So that is why I made my decision to come here at the end.

[i] So you had contacted him before you came here?

[r] Yes. I was contacting my friends on the way to Europe.

[i] And he lives in Antwerp or in Brussels?

[r] He lives in Ostend.

[i] And what was the procedure when you arrived in Belgium?

[r] When you arrive you have to go to the commissariat. They took my fingerprints and other details. They sent me to a temporary camp in Brussels, near Brussels. I had to stay there for 8 or 10 days. Then I was called again for the details. Then they sent me to Lint. In Kontich. In the region of Antwerp. So I had moved to that camp. Then I was waiting for my first interview. I had been given a date. I went to my first interview. They asked me several questions about the situation and everything. Then I was waiting for my second interview for a few months. I think I was lucky because the procedure went fast in my case. But some wait there for 2, sometimes 3 years. The whole process took 8 months. 8 or 10 months. And then my second interview… The interview was finished after 2 or 3 months but I had to wait for the decision. For more than 5 months.

[i] And what kind of questions do they ask you during the interview?

[r] All about the way I got here. And what my situation and position there was and what my life was like. I had to prove all those things. All the newspapers with the pictures of my activities and protests in which I participated. All the certificates and references of my organization. BSO and BNM. So I had to prove all these things.

[i] And was it the reason why it was faster in according to you?

[r] No. We don’t know what the reason is there. It was also not too fast. It took me 10 months. But yes, it was faster.

[i] You said you had to stay in the shelter?

[r] Yes.

[i] For how long?

[r] All this time I was living there. I lived in the shelter for those 8-10 months.

[i] And how was life there for you?

[r] Well, life is not easy. But as I said, I had already gained some experience along the way. And also in Baluchistan, in the mountains, underground. Here there was shelter, food and a bed to sleep in. There were basic medical facilities. It was good.

[i] And before you came to Belgium, did you have an image of Belgium and Europe?

[r] Yes. I was a well-educated person. And with the help of the Internet we are connected to the world. So I had an image before. And that’s the same thing. People are more open-minded and there is a freedom of speech… You can have a free and safe life. So I had this image in my head.

So when you arrived, what was your first impression about the country, about everything?

[r] To be honest, my thoughts when I arrived were… that I reached a goal. So at that point, it was everything. But otherwise I was more focused on more subjective things than objective ones. About my situation: what should I do? Where should I go? I was concerned with those kinds of things. But it was fun to reach a safe place that I wanted to reach.

[i] And how long have you been here in Belgium?

[r] Now…I arrived in 2017 in December 2017. So now it is more than 1 year. 1.5 years.

[i] And did you start your life in Antwerp?

[r] Yes, when I was in the reception centre I tried to get a scholarship to study the language at the university. Luckily I got it. And I started with the 1 year Dutch course. And all the time I lived in the region of Antwerp. It was not a city of Antwerp, but it was the region of Antwerp.

[i] Where exactly did you live?

[r] In Kontich. In Lint. The name of the village.

[i] And what was it like for you to learn Dutch?

[r] It was a very nice experience. And there were many people from different countries. And also from the European countries. I got a chance to get to know people. And the learning methods were very nice. They literally teach you Dutch in 1 year. It is very intensive but the way they learn is very nice. I liked it.

[i] And what level have finished?

[r] I have finished 2 levels.

[i] And why did you stop?

[r] Because I had to move to Brussels. For many reasons. It was also not easy to go from Brussels to Antwerp every day. It was too expensive to go every day. And also from the moment I lived in Brussels I had to learn French. In order to survive there, that’s why I stopped.

[i] And why did you move to Brussels?

[r] For many reasons. I’m interested in journalism. And I’m also a political activist and there are many different organisations, NGOs, human rights organisations because it’s the centre, the capital of Europe. There are many headquarters of human rights organizations. So there I will get a chance to do something and get more opportunities. That was the reason.

[i] And how long have you lived in Brussels?

[r] In Brussels? More than 2 months now. 3 months.

[i] And have you looked up some possibilities yet?

[r] I was actually very busy with all the documents. with change of address… And recently I also got my recognition as a political refugee. And then I got all those papers that I was very busy with. But yes, I try to get to know people and I go to a lot of events but I haven’t found anything specific yet.

[i] But what would be the ideal work for you?

[r] Everything in that field. Any human rights organisation or NGO is good.

[i] And would you still like to fight for the rights of Baluchistan? From Europe.

[r] Yes certainly. I want to do that. I will continue to fight in every possible way. By writing or by raising the voice of the people who have no voice. So I would like to continue to do that.

[i] Would you like to study something?

[r] Yes, I would like to study journalism. I’m interested in journalism so… So I would like to write about many problems in the world, not just in Baluchistan.

[i] Have you visited a university yet?

[r] Not yet. As I said, I just got time. And now I have to learn the language first. So I’m going to learn French. I will have French lessons because I can’t study it myself at the moment.

[i] But there are many people in Brussels who want to study in English.

[r] Yes there are. I have researched it. I’m going to try all those options.

[i] And do you have any communication with your friends in Baluchistan so far?

[r] Yes, I do have communication with my friends. With my people and with the organization.

[i] By what means of communication?

[r] Just via the Internet. There are many different apps. Viber, Messenger, Whatsap…

[i] And with your family?

[r] I have occasional contact with my family. But not on a regular basis.

[i] But has it become easier for you to be more open? And are you starting to contact your family and friends from Europe?

Yes it has become easier. Because I didn’t feel safe there. I could have been trapped or traced. And they were put under pressure. That they have to bring me back. They have to make me stop. Because they were tracked down by the intelligence bureau and by the government. So when I was there I could be reached by all sides. I can’t be reached here. So yes, it is safer here.

[i] But how did your feelings about yourself and your situation change? Do you feel that you have been given freedom? That you got what you were looking for?

[r] Do you mean when I came here? First of all, I feel safe here. I feel safe and I have freedom of speech. It is very important. And I can do all the political activities. I can set up an organisation and campaigns. I can do many things from Europe without fear of being killed and persecuted. So yes, it is a big change.

[i] And do you feel that you want to bring your family here?

[r] No. Well, I would like to do that. But they don’t want that. They don’t want to leave their place, their roots, their ancestors and their country.

[i] So you are the only politically active person in your family?

In my family yes. At this extreme level. My father is politically active. He was when he was young. He is still in politics but on a more moderate level. Not as extreme as I am. What I call extreme is just demanding your independence which shouldn’t be called extreme. But for this country and for them it is extreme.

[i] And now that you live in Belgium you have a chance to communicate with Belgian people and what do you think about their culture and their values? Is it very different from that of Baluchistan?

[r] As I said, I was very busy with the procedure and the papers and I didn’t have many chances to get to know people personally. I didn’t get that many chances, but yes, I talked to a few people. So I can’t say anything about the whole of society. That would be too early for me to have a conclusion. But yes, I see different cities and different people here. They are more concerned with their lives. They are in a hurry. That is different. They have a big focus on in their lives, responsibilities, work… and they walk and they hurry… They’re not so connected to people, neighbors compared to people in Baluchistan. I haven’t had a chance to be more social yet.

[i] But is it positive or very different for you to see all that haste or to be so focused compared to Baluchistan?

[r] It’s just very different. Of course life there is different. Only one person from the whole family works there. All the others just enjoy their free time. So we are busy with other activities. We have time. Here people are busy with many things and many activities. And it is very nice on the one hand. They are engaged in many activities in their lives and they develop in different ways. It won’t be difficult for me. I will love this life.

[i] And can you tell me a little about the culture of Baluchistan? About the values you have?

[r] I’m not sure what you mean exactly.

[i] Yes, for example, you said that here people are engaged in their careers and what are the values of Baluchi people?

Yes, being focused is more of a general thing that people have everywhere. But as I said before, I don’t have a conclusion yet because I haven’t had a chance to get to know people yet. I will do that because now I am taking care of my life. But in Baluchistan it is more of a tribal society. People are more connected with each other. In a city everyone knows everyone. And they participate in every situation of each other’s lives. Marriages, deaths, grief, happiness and so on. They help each other in every situation of life. What else would I say? People are more patriotic there. That happens because of the situation with Baluchistan. More people are interested in politics there. The situation of the region has made them so. And, as I said, it is the richest region that has never had a chance to be developed. So people have their pieces of land, agriculture, cattle. Many people have lived in the mountains so far. There is no work. Every season they move to a different place. That’s all I can remember now.

[i] And if you think about the values of Baluchi people and if you think about the general European countries, what would you take with you of Baluchi values and of European values and keep up with them and maybe for you children and pass them on to the next generations?

[r] I believe in modern values. I have always had modern values. Because we achieve them by developing ourselves and we grow to those values and we choose those values. There are some good values in Baluchistan such as hospitality. The European countries are, of course, developed countries. They have reached a certain level. We are still disadvantaged. Here are many things of modern values. Like growing in a different way, being more human, doing something for humanity, being aware of your environment and the world, technological development. And there are many. So I would choose for the modern values. And you asked about the children but I don’t know yet if I will have the children. I’m not sure yet. But if I ever have children I wouldn’t pass on my values to them but I would let them discover their own values or let them choose their values over time. But I’ll just pass on the basic core values. Like questioning everything, keeping a critical eye on everything, finding out more about the truth. So the core values. But otherwise they have to choose their own values.

[i] Okay [name] . Thank you very much for this interview. It has been very interesting. I wish you good luck with your future, with your studies, and with your political activities. It has been a lot of fun.

Thank you very much. Thank you very much. I had the pleasure of getting a chance to tell you that.