[i] [name], can you introduce yourself and tell us when you came to France?

[r] In the name of God, I entered France in 2010. And, I entered France, Paris, where I knew no one. I didn’t know anyone. And, I found myself in a completely strange and unknown atmosphere. Because I didn’t have any acquaintances in Paris, France. And, I’m still in Paris, it’s been eight years since I arrived and I’ve been living here until now.

[i] When you arrived in France, Paris was the first city you visited?

[r] Uhh, no, it wasn’t the first city, certainly the first city was Nice. When I succeeded, because of the Dublin regulations between the Schengens States, which still exist for that purpose, I spent two months in Nice, because I was in the Dublin procedure. So I was forced to flee to Paris. There was no other solution, if I had stayed there, I would have been sent back to Hungary and it was very hard for me.

[i] What did you feel when you entered French soil?

[r] Well, in general, when you leave your country of origin, it means that you will encounter another civilization, another world, other thoughts and another language. And that was normal, when I entered France, I felt that I was free and safe, in terms of security. There was no problem, the only problem I had was people’s lack of knowledge and I didn’t know how to speak the language. I couldn’t even say “hello” and what means “hello”, I’ve never heard on TV or radio in Afghanistan.

[i] So, the language was very difficult for you? So how did you solve your problems?

[r] Well, I spoke enough English to make connections with society, but what I really needed was to learn the French language. Because, when you live in a society, you have to know how to speak the language of that society. It doesn’t matter if you are in Germany, Afghanistan, Iran or China. In my opinion, a person can feel peaceful when they are integrated into society. So, when the person speaks the language of the society, it is easy to have social ties, cultural ties with people, and therefore we have fewer problems.

[i] Did it take you a long time to learn the French language?

[r] Naturally and undoubtedly, each country has its own difficulties, including France. First of all, I would like to thank the French government and people, who have opened their hearts and minds with Europeans to welcome and help migrants. But, in general, we can say that at the beginning, there are many problems. For example, housing problems, housing problems, food problems and thousands of other problems. Other problems such as health, and others. And so I didn’t have the opportunity to find a place or school to learn French academically, because I had many other problems. I was outside, I was sleeping on the street and I was not the only one, maybe there were thousands of other people from other different countries who fled their countries because of the problems they had. And so, when they arrived here, they found themselves on the street and without accommodation. And so, I thought first, do I undertake studies and learn the language? Imagine if I had started learning the language right away. So how could the problems for my home be solved? And the food problems? and the transport problems? If I went to school, I had to have a subway card. In the subway, I had to take a ticket, and then enter it. Since I didn’t have all these possibilities, so I at least tried to find a small job. So that first of all I could have some economic resources and then the question of language learning would arise. Well, of course I tried to solve the language problem. However, when it comes to speaking sustained or academic French, I can’t imagine that I’m getting to that level. Because of the economic reasons that exist in France. And it is clear to everyone the economic difficulties that exist here. If you don’t work here, life is very difficult.

[i] When you arrived in Paris, how did it feel? Have you ever heard of the city of Paris? And what was the city of Paris to you? In reality, Paris is undoubtedly a city rich in culture, civilization, a beautiful city, and a city where great characters have lived, like Victor Hugo. Paris was not unknown to me. I knew Paris, even when I was in Afghanistan. And I sometimes read Victor Hugo’s poems in Persian. It was a beautiful city, an interesting city and in every corner you can see the culture and civilization. It is a city, on which, if you want, you can write books. It is a very beautiful city, by beauty, I mean cultural beauties. For me, a castle may not be beautiful, but culture is very important to me. Because you see people of all nationalities, people of different religions, different sects and different races, all this is mixed, in French it is “mixed”, and has made Paris a beautiful city in the world. And we see people from all over the world, and that’s also why Paris is very beautiful to me, and I really like Parisians.

[i] The French and rather Parisian culture, what differences and similarities could it have with the culture of the country from which you come?

[r] Undoubtedly, human beings in general have differences attributed, in the same way that one person’s face does not look 100% like another’s, in the same way, we can say that cultures are different from one country to another. And it’s beautiful, each culture has its own particular beauty. And…. if you compare French culture with Afghanistan’s, hey, there are a lot of differences. And so, we can say that probably in Afghanistan, our culture is our clothes, our culture is our gastronomy, our culture is our music, our culture is our joy of life. Afghans are very happy; a few days ago I attended an event in which one of the French writers said that Afghans are one of the happiest people in the world. This is despite all the security problems in Afghanistan. Afghans are happy whether they have something or not. People are happy. Hey, from my point of view, the more we move towards modernity, the harder life gets, the more problems and difficulties increase. From this point of view, I can say that life in Afghanistan is much easier and simpler than life in France. And I have not lived anywhere else but in France, I have seen life here, and I have many friends and acquaintances now. The people in Afghanistan are very happy, they are smiling. People in Afghanistan invite you, they invite you to their home, they offer you tea, and uh when you become friends with someone, he invites you to his home, he introduces you to his family, he welcomes you and offers you tea. On the other hand, in France such a thing does not exist. No one cares about the other and no one trusts the other. I can of course see these two cultural differences. But what is good about France, and it is good in Paris, is that the only thing I have here is safety. Only safety, and as I was saying earlier, the fact that there is a mixture of different cultures makes the city beautiful.

[i] It was only security that brought you to France?

[r] Uh, well, you see, if we’re talking about security, well, yes, that’s really it. So all the peoples of all the countries where there is war must flee. But my problems were personal because I was a government employee, I worked in government and I was a young active person. I worked in the media sector and worked for the Afghan government For me, life in Afghanistan was rooted as if, in a room there was a person who could not go anywhere outside that room. I was very locked up and I had had many security problems. I had no other choice but to leave my homeland. I will give you an example. If you, let’s talk about wealth; Is it not important for a Frenchman, a European, an American, where is he from? We are all human beings. Even if we offer billions to a person, would he leave his friend, his father, his mother, his family, his tribe with whom he grew up? And when he doesn’t know when he’s leaving, he doesn’t know where he’s going? Would I have died on the way, would I have drowned in the sea, or would the smuggler sell me to others to make money? That was the main reason I left, for me…. They say “journey to heaven”. I have “traveled to heaven”. I went to heaven, I didn’t even know which galaxy I would land in and it wasn’t under my control, I had no choice but to leave the homeland. Because I had security problems, I was a very active young person. I was in the field of poetry, I was of course a civil servant. Sometimes, through the media, I encouraged people to work with the Afghan government and all this brought me fear and threat. When people were watching me on TV, I talked and encouraged young people, and I received private calls on my mobile phone that told me why you were doing all this? Come and work with us and me, I refused and said that I was serving my country. In the end, I had no other choice but to leave my homeland.

[i] Leaving your homeland is a regret for you or another fortune? What did you win?

[r] There are two different things, yes… There are two different ways. On the one hand, I regret having left and on the other hand, or on the other hand I do not regret having left and having left elsewhere. Well, I said that when I lived there, I was quiet, very quiet…. It means, I never felt who was paying for electricity, and who was paying rent, and who was preparing the meal, and I didn’t know the stress. What stress means, I didn’t even know the term “stress”. My life was full of joy, full of affection, full of happiness, and in full development. I saw myself every day in the process of development, and also in the field of poetry and literature. I wrote poetry, I was active among the young people. I was happy, I was happy at night and day. I was so happy that I didn’t know if it was day or night. I only knew I was making progress. On this side, I am sad, because if I had stayed in Afghanistan and not encountered the problems I mentioned earlier, maybe I would have a doctorate now, and I would have written poetry books. And maybe I would have made good progress. The same way my friends did. My friends are mostly diplomats in different places, they work, they are university professors. So from that point of view, I haven’t made any progress and I’m sad to have left my country. Because Afghanistan needs me today. I am one of the young people of Afghanistan and I could do a lot of things for the country with all my energy. And on the other hand, I’m not sad, because if I hadn’t left my country, maybe I would have been killed. What if I were killed. Where could I get this experience from? Where could I have found all these cultures? Where would I have found this diversity? How could I have known the world? How would I have known people? How would I know about civilization? Yes, on this side, I am happy even if it is hard, life was hard, with many other problems that I have experienced in life. When I left my country I experienced hard times that I couldn’t even imagine, as the French say, and that I could live all those moments in my life, it was really hard. On the other hand, I am happy that today I am taking care of my life and I understand well what life means. On this side, I do not regret it because I am in contact with another world. I am in contact with other people, and… And I know what others think of me and what I think of others.

[i] You say that coming here creates security for you? As well as knowledge of other cultures and civilizations?

[r] Yes, for me safety is a priority. For without security, nowhere in the world can culture be built. In other words, all over the world, we first see the issue of security. And I’m glad I’m here and I’m safe. And secondly, I feel enriched, in cultural terms. Today, I speak French, not in a very sustained way, but I have no problem, I am in contact with society, I have many friends today from all countries, from West to East Europe, to Iran, to Israel and the United States of America. and so I see myself connected with the whole world today. and I see well that there is no difference between him and me. In general, we are all human beings. The only difference is the language. When we know how to speak the language and respect each other’s culture, we can be friends and very close to each other. So, I am very happy on that side. to live in a country with such a civilization, in France and Paris. Especially in Paris, because I never liked getting out of Paris. Because I love Paris for its cultural mixes. Wherever you go, people behave well with you, and it’s natural that we also behave well with others. We say that we are from Afghanistan and we laugh with people, we tell each other interesting things. So I am happy with that point of view.

[i] Hey, so you started your life in Paris in 2010?

[r] Yes, I came to Paris because I was dublinated, and was sent back to Hungary in 2010. I spent five months there with great difficulty, and if I tell you all about it in detail, maybe it will be very sad for you too to see how hard it was. The person who has never thought of feeding, and who has never thought of dressing, who was born in the best conditions and in happiness, and is waiting 3 hours for a glass of coffee or a glass of tea, or four hours of waiting. He has no shoes, he has no socks, no clothes, he has nothing. And it’s very hard. The person who has a job, who has a job in Afghanistan and who has a salary and who gives everything behind him to come here and feels alone, well, so in such a situation… I’m not going to go into the details so that it doesn’t get tiring…

[i] Is this the life situation in Paris when you arrive?

[r] Yes, it’s life in Paris when I arrived there in 2010. Well, anyway, if we go into the details, it will make you sad. When I was sent back to Hungary, so 5 months in Paris with all the situations I just explained…

[i] Talk to us as you want to explain things….

[r] Ah, in the same way that I just expressed myself, I encountered a lot of difficulties, and finally…I spoke about it earlier, after five months I was sent back to Hungary because of the Dublin procedure. And I didn’t want to stay in Hungary. I like all the nationalities and places in the world, and I like all the countries, but it wasn’t the ideal place for me. Because my world was that of literature and I could only find this world in Paris. Because, I knew that Paris is Victor Hugo’s land, I knew the history of France beforehand, I understood French culture, although in Afghanistan I worked with the Norwegians and Austrians. That is, when I was working for the government, as part of the state, I was someone who, at least, had relationships with these people at the time, they were working in Afghanistan. They knew me, we had contacts by phone, by e-mail, and said that if you ever travel in our country we would be very happy Despite all these contacts and knowledge with these people if I went to Norway, they wanted me to stay there, with everything I had done in Afghanistan for them, they would have believed me. But I loved France, because here we don’t disturb people very much. They didn’t have bad looks, as I saw elsewhere, uh The French are socialists, the socialists are mostly people, uh they don’t have such a bad look, and they rather see the beauty of this cultural diversity so after five months back[in Paris], I was imprisoned for six months in Hungary, and I was told why you went to France? After that, I left there for France, in the same way as before, with great difficulty. Under the chair of a train, we hid so that the police wouldn’t catch me,[laughs] I hid left and right… finally, I arrived in Paris. And yet I didn’t know anyone here where I go, who I should go to, etc. Well, like that, I wasn’t someone who felt weak, because I hadn’t known this kind of life and not this kind of difficulties either, I told myself that these are experiences and poetry for me… Poetry has lifted my spirits, Mawlana’s poetry has lifted my spirits, Hafiz’s poetry and Bidel’s have lifted my spirits. When I was reading poetry, I thought….. Omar Khayyam’s poems were cheering me up, and I thought that it is time that passes… and there will be the day… and I wrote a poem in the same rhythm “One day I sat in the corner of a prison” “tired of life forever, and the tired life of history” “I thought” “There was the pen and I” “There was the paper, there was God” “The prison was full of people like me,” “They too, complained like the wounded bird in the sky and said” “Why does history and time make us suffer?” “With whom I could sit and with whom I could talk” “All those with whom I speak, they want to talk about their own culture” “I thought, the day will come” “when this window will open” “And I could fly on my own” “and sit in a corner of this vast world”. That was the goal of my life, with this poetry, the poetry that I wrote myself, that I wrote with my own pen, with this poetry, I gave myself hope. I knew people, friends, who went mad and were destroyed after living a difficult life in Europe, and they lost everything, their mentalities, their ideas and everything. On the other hand, I wrote poetry when I saw that there was no other way out, I wrote something and told myself that it is a theft, it is a life, it is an experience. And there will be a day when everything will be better, and a day when I will find myself. So I came back to France, and then, for a short time, I went to a French-language school. I already said I didn’t go to this school for long. Even today, if I speak French, it is because I learned it on my own, I have read magazines, newspapers and books. Here, I have almost a hundred books in French, I read when I have free time. And so, a French friend of mine, at the time I had no accommodation, no accommodation, took me in for a while. And I went to school at the same time to learn the language. After a very long time, almost three years, I was accepted and given papers, and finally my fingerprints were erased. And I didn’t even ask the French government for a cent, I wasn’t given anything, I didn’t ask for it either. Even after I had my status, I was told to go get what was my financial right. I said no, I don’t want to. I don’t want to be seen as a migrant queuing to ask for money. On the contrary, I wanted to stand on my feet. I wanted to move, I didn’t want to be a young person with a negative outlook. I wanted to do something so that people would say that he is capable and that he is like us. I was ashamed to ask the French government for money, and I told myself that I had to give money to the government so that the country could develop, because I live here. There is no difference between countries for me. It is people who make the difference between countries, on the contrary, the land is the land of all human beings. It is true that there are borders and problems in the world, it is the truth of life, but, on principle, humanity is the land of all human beings. And I don’t feel landless. Why? Why? Because when I speak with one of my compatriots, when I speak to him, I see myself in the same mirror as him and when I speak with a Frenchman, I also see myself in his mirror. I see that there is no difference between him and me, the difference is in our ideas, if we are optimistic and love the world and people, the world loves us too.

[i] Your relationship with culture, poetry and literature is apparently very close. What do you remember about the city of Paris? Did she help you nurture these relationships?

[r] Well, there is probably a long-term project, and there is a short-term project. When I was in Afghanistan, I studied a lot of Persian books, and I also composed a lot of poetry. However, when I arrived in France, I was caught up in life here. So I no longer had the opportunity to write poetry in Persian, but the poetry I had already written when I was in grade 11, even before I went to university, uh, my poetry was published in the parliamentary magazine, in the name of Itesam, and this poetry was about my country. I was describing my country with beautiful rivers, beautiful mountains, beautiful gazelles, and so it continued… and I brought this magazine to France. And when I had an appointment at OFPRA on my journey in Afghanistan and for my file, they took the magazine, and I had photocopied the page where my poetry was published, and this magazine… I brought it with me from Afghanistan. This is the picture taken in the office of my work…. You see it… and it was my office, where I worked, and this…

[i] What exactly were you doing?


[r] Specifically, I was in the security sector, and I worked in the secretariat of the Provincial Security Command of Frayab Province. and I established relations between foreigners and security officials in Faryab Province, who were more Americans, Norwegians and Austrians. My job was to prepare the visits of security officials and provincial chiefs with the people of the province. And I can say that I was the spokesperson for a few months, for example, when something happened in the city, I was sent to talk to the radio and TV stations. And…. Here’s the picture that’s full of memories of Afghanistan, uh, I have lots of memories of that, it was the best time of my life. And this one is my poetry. You can see that I was very young at the time, and that… I was too young, I had not even reached the age of eighteen, when I wrote this poetry. If you want…. Because all my presentation is written on this page of poetry, and it was published by the magazine that is with the French judge now. I hope I will get this magazine back someday. I tell in my poetry:[He recites poetry about his country and region… he talks about his mountains, his beautiful landscapes, he talks about his beautiful gardens… He talks about singing birds and jumping gazelles… The rivers that flow quietly, the mountains of the Badakhshan Province. He invites others to recite and sing with him… He speaks of himself in these words to win the hearts of others, He speaks of a drink…] This paper represents memories from my teenage years, and I brought it with me from Afghanistan, I love it very much, and I have kept it with me until today. I even kept him in the worst situations of my life. And the original of this magazine, I hope one day I will get it back.

[i] According to your poetry, your relationship with your homeland seems very strong; does your memories of your country and region come to mind in your life in Paris? In fact, what is the relationship of your poetry with this city, and how do you see it?

[r] It’s normal, for everyone, their homeland is very expensive. We just said that human beings have no borders. The truth is that if… a Frenchman who lives in the countryside, even if he is French, as much as he loves the countryside, he does not like Paris. A person who lives in Manchester, England or Birmingham, if you take him to London, he will miss his hometown, and he will say that Birmingham is much more beautiful to him. Because memories, memories of childhood are part of the nature of the human being. Every place where someone is born is beautiful… uh, I always think of my homeland. I love my homeland and I will always love it… Because I grew up there, I was born there. The second thing is that I like it here too. Because my second homeland is France, the place where I breathe now. The place where I live now, the place where I’m respected. So I can say that I love all the countries of the world and especially these two, Afghanistan and France, because I have not lived anywhere else. When you don’t live in other environments, you don’t know the different cultures well, so I feel very relaxed here… I have many memories of my country too, when I was with friends, when I went to school, when we laughed, when we were with the family… We’re almost on two different cultures between here and there.

[i] And, you live alone in Paris?

[r] In the city of Paris, yes. But, among my family members, my brothers are there, but they are a little far from Paris. Because, we are all busy with daily life and our studies, and I am someone who only sleeps four hours in 24 hours, except on weekends when I rest well. From Monday to Friday, I only sleep four hours a day. That’s because I start work at 3:00 p. m., work until 12:30 a. m. and come home around 1:30 a. m. and it takes me almost an hour to fall asleep because you don’t fall asleep right away, and I wake up at 6 a. m. I’m getting ready, studying a little and going to university. And, work and university, work and university…… So sometimes I stay four hours at home and the rest, most of the time outside, either at the library, or at university, or generally at work. That’s why I can’t see my brothers often. They are also busy… They are also very busy, maybe we see each other once every two or three weeks, otherwise we don’t see each other easily. And so, I can say that I’m all alone. I live alone in this apartment.

[i] The stress of the city of Paris, work and studies don’t really give you time to see your brothers?

[r] Yes, I probably miss my brothers a lot sometimes. And they always call me and say, “Come on, we’ll see each other this week or in two weeks… “But they know that I am as busy as they are, because I really want to move forward, to progress. I said, “Okay, maybe next week, we could meet.” But I can see that this is not going to be possible. And so it happens that sometimes a month, two months and three months go by, for example in exam periods. I can’t see them, and it’s very difficult, although they’re close to Paris. And so we’re all busy here. The difference between Afghanistan and France to make it clear to you is that people are tired here, they are sad… What we see here is that people are sad and they get angry more easily. People get angry very quickly in Paris and I haven’t lived much elsewhere in France than in Paris. In Afghanistan, people are not the same, people are overflowing with joy. They are happy even when they don’t have a job, but here we see that people are sad and stressed when they have a job as well as when they don’t. [laughs] So, what’s my role? My role is that, as I have become accustomed to very harsh situations throughout the year and a half that covers my departure from Afghanistan, and as I have become accustomed to such a situation, I tell myself that my role is to move forward and move forward… and finally, I have lost a lot of time by coming here since I left Afghanistan, and these are lost moments; as I said, some of my friends have doctorates now. Some of them are university professors or doctors. I am not a materialist and I don’t think too much about everyday things. I just want a place to sleep and progress in my studies. All the challenges I have in my life are to have a place to live and to be able to continue my studies. That’s why I’m busy 20 hours a day. And… the other difference I just mentioned is that people here are tired, stressed and sad, compared to where I lived in Afghanistan. There, people are happy, they play music, there is music in restaurants, people listen to music in their cars. They even listen to music when they ride their bikes. On the contrary, here we see people stressed and sad. And so in general, I try not to be sad. And I try to move forward and move forward. And if I see someone who is sad, I try to make them smile, that’s my role, and make them happy.

[i] Well, where do you live in Paris? Tell us a little about the life in your neighbourhood.

[r] I lived of course in different districts of Paris, and when I arrived in France, I lived in the Invalides district. After that I lived at the Porte d’Orléans, near Paris, and then at Marx Dormoy, in the 18th arrondissement. I stayed there for almost three years. And now I live in the 20th arrondissement of Paris, in the Ménilmontant district. Ménilmontant is a neighbourhood in which you can see a great cultural diversity. Here, there are different types of people, different races and different languages, and people are good, there are many cafés, the doors are open to talk with people. Often, when I am in a café and I speak with family or friends in Persian, people come to me and ask me what language I speak, and I answer, in Persian. So we start talking; and people have even come to my house, I have lots of friends in the Ménilmontant district. And there is a library in Ménilmontant, where I go to study, and I also meet people there, we have become friends. Finally, I try to be in contact with the people where I live. And I love people, no matter who they are, where they come from, their language, their religion, their culture… For me, what is important is that they are human beings. And it is important for me. My role is a human role, and so I can connect the East with the West. That’s my goal. And how can I make it clear that what people see about migrants from Afghanistan, what they listen to in the media, on TV or on the radio, are largely not really realities, they are media things and very different from the real lives of people in Afghanistan. There are people who live well and are quiet, many people are happy with their lives and do not want to leave their countries. And… so, wherever I go, I try to communicate with people, and to explain and show them the culture of the Afghan people, and that we are like you, and that you are like us, human beings have their shortcomings, but through communication, exchange, they can fill their gaps.

[i] And so, you have a lot of exchanges and contacts with society, with the people in your neighbourhood and even with your Afghan compatriots?

[r] In general, I am in contact with everyone, even with my neighbours next door, from above and below. And I am in contact with all these people, with my compatriots, I am of course in contact. The place where I work, there are Afghans, as well as other nationalities. However, my role is also to learn, I am in the learning and experience phase. For example, if I see a person from Congo, I am happy to talk to him and know what he thinks about life, what exists in his country, what I don’t know, what I don’t know about, or what I haven’t even heard about. Or likewise, with another person of another nationality, I always enjoy learning a lot. So I am in contact not only with Afghans, but also with other people from elsewhere. With everyone in general, with neighbours, with people outside. Of course, it is not possible to communicate with everyone. That’s impossible, some people don’t want to. But, I’m still trying to find someone I can communicate with.

[i] Tell us a little bit about your work?

[r] I work in the place where I first arrived in France. When the conditions were very harsh. Yes, it was hard then, so I work in the environment where I lived as a migrant myself, and now I work there. And I interpret, I help them at different stages of their lives. For example, show them the address of the place they should go and solve the problems they encounter. In their administrative procedures as well. I help them at all these levels, that’s my job for now. And at the same time as I work, I am a student at the University of Paris 8, in political science. And my goal is to show a positive image of Afghanistan to people all over the world. And present them with this image. When I went to university and started my studies, there were a lot of people in the promotion. Mostly French. Because the political science program is a little hard, and the people who come here try to have a very good level of French. And, I had no contact with these people and I didn’t know them. I didn’t know who I could talk to to to solve the problems I had encountered. However, little by little, my classmates asked me where I came from? I just mentioned that my role is to joke, to make people laugh, wherever they are. I try to be in touch with people. I am not an isolated person, as the French say. I’m someone who tries to be in touch with people. And now I am studying at the University of Paris 8 and I have good relations with the people there. We are in the process of establishing an association, which could help Afghan migrants find their way, so that they will not be lost as I was. I didn’t know how to integrate into higher education, how and who could help me, nothing was clear to me either. Finally, uhhh I found the way with the help of my friends, and now I’m at university People have heard a lot of negative things that have been broadcast about my country, and most things broadcast by the media are not accurate. and maybe sometimes, they are exaggerated. And the reason I am studying at university and specifically political science is because I want to discover the main problems of my country. And I would like to be an ambassador and a link between Afghanistan and the West. My role is to show a positive image, different from that which others have only through the media: Afghan culture, Afghan literature and poetry, Afghan music, Afghan hospitality, friendships of Afghan peoples, Afghan courage and generosity. That’s what I want to show here. I have often invited my friends and comrades to my home. There are nights when I had guests, more than 15, 20 and even 30 people. We played music, we laughed, we discussed different subjects from my country, our relationship with people, our relationship with culture, and so my role is to give a positive image. And don’t let it be a false image. A real image of Afghan society, because I was not in France when I was a child. I came when I was an adult. And I know things very well in Afghanistan. So, for these reasons, I can say that I have continued my studies, and I will continue them. If you ask me what I love most in the world? What are your dreams in life? I will tell you that I don’t want anything from this world, nothing at all. I don’t want anything material, even if I stay without accommodation, without food. All I want is to continue my studies as much as a human being can do. When I talk about the human, I don’t set limits, right down to the last point we can reach. I do research and serve science and humanity. Not only for Afghans, but for the whole world. I hope there will be peace and security. And that I can show others the right way. And so my role is that, and I started from that point. I know there are problems and it’s not easy, but I’m sure I can do it, and I can get out of it. I want to be quiet at this time and continue to serve people.

[i] How has the city of Paris been able to help you with your projects and bring you what you need to achieve what you want?

[r] Certe, Paris, not only for me, but for everyone, the French or others, wherever they come from, and specifically in education, it is a very favourable city, in my opinion. Like other cities, Paris has its own problems too. The problems and difficulties of life exist in Paris. There are many difficulties, but with persistence, problems can be solved. So, you have to work, you have to have patience in Paris, because Paris is also a stressful place. You have to accept all these problems, you have to be prepared for all these problems. There is a lot of bureaucracy in Paris. The administrative procedures are so complicated, that sometimes I tell myself that these procedures have really tired me out. Laughs] You have to book about 3 to 4 hours a day to do these administrative procedures. So it’s very tiring. And it really takes time, these steps. Paris tires people because of these administrative procedures. The administrative system is very complicated. It’s very complicated.

[i] Well, food is part of a country’s culture, what do you think of French gastronomy, especially in Paris?

[i][laughs] You talk about a very pleasant thing, I really like French meals, I especially like French cakes with strawberries, and other fruits, like the apple that is part of the gastronomy. It is true that France is famous for its gastronomy in the world. For example, broccoli, ratatouille, lasagna and moussaka, which I like very much. Not only French meals, but also dishes from other European countries, which I also know.

[i] Do you cook yourself or eat out?

[r] No in restaurants with friends. For example, one day we decide to eat in a Pakistani, Indian, Japanese or Chinese restaurant or a French or German one. I ate a lot of French specialities. It is a very healthy cuisine for health, without too much fat.

[i] It’s not very bad for your health then?

[r] Well, there are dishes that are not healthy, but there are many good things too, there are many natural things, in my opinion, they are natural products.

[i] You didn’t get sick until now?

[r] Not at all. Cooking does not make you sick, especially French cooking. [Laughs]

[i] What do you think of social relations in Paris? With all these cultural differences, how did you end up in the city of Paris?

[r] Uh, when you live in a society, and when you enter a society, as I mentioned earlier, you have to speak the language of that society first and foremost. When you can speak the language, you can find the secrets of this society. What people hate and what they like? What do they prefer and what do they not prefer? What they respect here and what they don’t? For example, for a person from the East or another society, for example Afghanistan, or Iran with whom we have almost the same culture, there are things that are not bad there, but that are bad in France. Conversely, there are many things that are bad here, and that are good there. In the same way, when you live in a society like France, you can try to understand. I can give my example, I asked my French friends what they like and what they hate? Finally, with the exchanges we had, and the discussion I tried to enter society, for example I went to the theatre with my friends. Or I went to the cinema with my friends. The French like theatre and cinema. And it’s really something good, you learn a lot in the theatre and cinema. There are many real things that exist in society, but we don’t tell you these things directly. But an artist will be able to express it in other ways and people can understand what is wrong. Movies, cinema are good things.

[i] Does that mean that freedom of expression is restricted here? And it must be expressed indistinctly in France, and especially in Paris?

[r] Freedom, from my point of view, in every corner of the world has restrictions. There is no such thing as 100% freedom, it’s just written on paper, or in books. People have signed, but it doesn’t really apply to 100% anywhere in the world. And it is not applicable. It’s impossible, if you say that in France, there’s 100% freedom. And it is impossible because human beings have problems, and their problems naturally is that they want to be above others. And this feeling restricts freedoms. I’ll give you an example: suppose you go out on the street to walk, if one person laughs, you’ll do the same thing and if you try to make fun of him, maybe he won’t tell you anything, but the second person or the third person won’t let you make fun of him, and he’ll get angry. And so, there is no freedom and it does not apply to 100%. It’s the same here. There are many frameworks for freedom, there are limits for freedom in France. As a result, “equality, fraternity and freedom” does not exist at 100% either. From my point of view, but that is reality. Maybe there are people who are angry with me, but that’s the reality. If you talk about democracy and freedom, people, whether they are from any part of the world, how many people sleep on the streets in Paris? Regardless of their race, whether French or not, there are many people on the street too. Isn’t that freedom for them? Does the French government not have the necessary budget? for the homeless and especially that the majority are elderly people… These are people who die because of winter, is it not possible to accommodate them somewhere? So, freedom exists but not 100%. There is freedom in France, France is a free country and a country of civilization and culture. But I do not agree, as a student of political science, that there is 100% freedom in France. On the other hand, compared to many countries in the world, France is a free country.

[i] You have started your life in Paris since 2010, now that you have work and you are helping others in your work, what other activities do you plan in Paris?

[r] Well, life is like a wave, when a person enters a river, water without a wave really doesn’t mean a river. Life is entirely like a wave with ups and downs. You have to adapt to these waves, the back wave doesn’t look like the front one and so there are no similar waves in the river. And so, I explained to you earlier how I lived in Afghanistan, and how I lived a few years ago and today, at a time in my life when I couldn’t speak French, I couldn’t even say hello. However, today I am a student, today I work in the place where I lived a few years ago, as a civil servant, I am respected there, because I serve them and work for them with all my heart. I am not like a simple employee and I do not just think about my salary, because when I see someone in difficulty, it brings back memories, the moments I lived myself. and therefore, I serve them from the bottom of my heart. This year 2018, I am at university, and 2019 must be a better year for me. I need to speak the language in a very sustained way and adapted to the academic level, I need to get good marks at the university. I want to write a book in a year, I just need help. There is someone who is willing to help me, and will write it down by 2019. uh, (from my trip and my passage) I would like to write about my life, how my year and a half trip from Afghanistan to France went. I want to tell the reality of my life, what I thought and what happened to me. It is my project to learn and serve the world. I want to progress day after day. In 2020, I finish my degree. The year 2021 must be the year of my master’s degree. The year 2023 must be a better year, and I would like, if I have the opportunity, to spend the last semester of the last year in another country. Like New Zealand, I would like to see how people live there, how it is their culture, their civilization and how people think. I want to learn and do a semester there. My life has always been a succession of struggles, I have always tried to move forward. If a Frenchman works eight hours, I have to work twelve hours, because he has all the possibilities, he knows his language very well, he has a roof, he has a life here, he knows society and people well, he knows the living system here. He has learned everything since he was a child, so I have to work four hours more than him to achieve the same results. And for me to progress in this society, I must not stay behind. Because, if I do not work and study, I am a burden for France. I don’t like others to help me materially, or to think that I’m here to take advantage of others, no, I would like to be a useful person for others. In a positive way, not in a negative way. I want to help with my book, my thoughts, my work, my literature and poetry. Maybe I would write poems in French, and I could connect East and West. I want to be such a person, I don’t want to be someone who just came to France to do business, to buy a building or a shop. All this has no value for me, for me material life and luxury have no importance at all. I let things happen, but I don’t think about it, I never think about that. The happiest moment of my life will come when my book is published, when people read my thoughts and when my ideas are perceived as those of an Afghan. And also to know what I think, and how? Who were Max Weber and Adam Smith? Weren’t they migrants? Max Weber was from Hungary, he was a migrant, he went to Austria, and he couldn’t live there, so he went to the United States. But there too, it was complicated for him and finally he went to live between the United States of America and Canada. But what is important is that today these thoughts are being studied in universities. We too can, and if we cannot become Max Weber, at least we can serve in the field of literature and poetry, we can build and connect societies through culture. My French friends read the poet Omar Khayyam, who was not only thinking of him. He wasn’t even thinking of a single society, or a single nation, He was thinking of the whole world, he loved the whole world. He loved people. He loved humanity. When we talk about human beings and humanity, it is not just a slogan, it must come from our faith, from our conviction. And we love everyone. Regardless of race, colour, language, or anything else, you just have to love it. And my objective is to progress, not only myself, but my friends too, and so it doesn’t matter if he is French or from elsewhere. People who have travelled like me have to work like me twenty hours a day. They must work, pay their taxes to the French government, and they must have a roof over their heads, they must go to school, and at the same time play sports. And so, such a person will be able to travel with me in life. It is impossible to sleep, and to say that we will progress, we must move forward, move and work. And it’s not possible with tears either. It is not possible with tears, the person crying is a sign of weakness. You always have to smile and fight in life. And to think that I can do it. And finally, that’s how you achieve your goal. Even if I work twenty hours, I’m never tired. And I know that I am doing something positive, I know that I can change the image of my country and for that I have to work. Because others think differently, and they don’t think I’m like them, what they love, I love, what they think, I think the same way. The difference is only in what we have already heard, what we have never heard and never seen. We have not thought academically about these phenomena, and I want to work on them so that people think academically. They must think fairly. And see why Afghans have immigrated, understand the source, and see what the reality of Afghan life is like. As I said earlier, no one ever likes to leave their country, I didn’t want to personally. I had no problems in life, no material problems. Material comfort does not exist in Europe. That is the truth. It does not exist at all, the only thing it exists is security. It is a country where there are many natural resources, gasoline and oil, Uranium, diamonds. Imagine that Afghanistan is four times richer than Saudi Arabia. But we don’t have security. Our problem is a security problem. But I’m not going to talk about politics here. As a young political science student, I know that these are not internal problems. But, people must not judge the reason why I came to France, people must not look at me with an evil eye. They should know the root causes of the problems I have encountered. They can see and analyze why I really came here. Immigration has existed for centuries in the world. And it has different causes. They need to have a clear understanding of how and where an immigrant person comes from. In my opinion, we must love and respect all human beings.

[i] Is Paris the ideal place to realize your dreams and objectives?

[r] You have to be grateful, as they say in Persian. You have to respect society, because you are respected. We must respect this society and these grateful people. This company respected us and opened its door to us. Today we live in this country. My neighbours are both French, and sometimes when I have guests, if I am missing something at home I go knock on my neighbour’s door and ask for plates, for example, so that I can welcome my guests. And, they help me without any problem. I think so, with my efforts, I try to give myself the means to achieve my dreams. There are many managers among migrants. So we must not leave these frames in the air. We must not let time pass, we must just try to provide a little peace and quiet and give these people the means to do so. When a migrant arrives here, he does not know the administration and as soon as he arrives, the administrative procedures begin. The poor migrant goes crazy because of all these steps. I know a lot of people who have mental health problems because of that. You just have to give them some time to integrate a little and learn the language. And it doesn’t matter if the process starts at this stage. Well, they say that society is like that, there are a lot of administrative procedures for everyone, but when a migrant receives a document, he doesn’t know to whom he should send the paper, he receives so many documents, that he doesn’t know where to go. The other problem in France is that in the administration, there are shared responsibilities and sometimes you are sent from west to east of Paris for the same process[laughs]. When you go east of Paris, you are told that it is not here and you have to go back west, and it is exhausting. It’s been tiring me too much since then, and not only me, but all my friends are tired of it. We need to simplify things a little bit, we need to set up associations that help people to move forward. I see a lot of smart young people, architects. Among my compatriots, there are young people who have Master’s degrees from India and Master’s degrees from Japan, why don’t we use their skills? I have Afghan friends who have come to France, they have papers, and they have a master’s degree from Japan, for example, where technology is very advanced in architecture. Or young people who have a degree in computer science. Why not use their skills and let them get lost in stressful administrative procedures. There comes a time when they forget everything they have already studied for years. Programs must be put in place to use their skills and ideas so that they do not disappear. I also say that there are Max Webers among these migrants, there are hidden talents to discover. They must be sought and found, as there are many of them among these migrants. I am in direct contact with them, there are people who were pilots in the country, why don’t we use their experiences from years of study, maybe they can do innovative things in France that didn’t exist before, why don’t we use them? For example, a pilot who had a job and a life there, he took refuge here and left everything behind because he had problems, but here he faces a lot of stress and psychological problems, why? Because of the administrative procedures, you have to go everywhere, left and right, it’s stressful. We are asked, “Why don’t you speak French?”, “Madam, sir, it is not possible in two days to learn French. It still takes time” When people ask me why I don’t speak the language, you first have to ask where is the school where I could learn it? How do I learn the language? First I have to look for food and accommodation, and then I have to look for a school to learn the language. What am I thinking about first? To these basic needs or to learn the language? We have to prepare the means first, France has to rely on these migrants. We have to use their ideas, even a shepherd when he comes here, maybe he has a new experience and it has to be used. So everyone can do something, those who arrive must be useful and not ignored. Finally, migrants should not be ignored. Because each of these people has left a life behind and comes here with hope. So it is important not to eliminate these hopes and values.

[i] Do you have anything else to add?

[r] ahhh, I think I said all I had to say.

[i] Maybe there are still some things you have forgotten?

[r] I don’t think so, I’ve talked a lot and said a lot of things, and I don’t have anything special left to add. I would like to thank again the French government for giving me the opportunity to study and there is no difference between me and a Frenchman. And I hope that these opportunities will be given to everyone, not just Afghan migrants, but everyone. We must still try to help migrants and use them positively and not negatively. That’s all, thank you too….

[i] Thank you too,

[r] You’re welcome, and I wish you a good evening.