The Rugmaker: Asylum Seeker Tells His Story

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Asylum Seeker Tells His Story Lachlan O’Brien April 14th, 2012 The ongoing war in Afghanistan is one of the most media reported issues the world. This is because of the very real political hostilities that exist. Everyday life is a major struggle for the civilians living there. The political and social situations of the nation have become so unbearable that the people living there are willing to risk their lives to flee the conflict. Najaf Mazari tells his story of narrowly escaping death and fleeing the country of Afghanistan. Last week, I was fortunate enough to meet Najaf and hear his story first hand. “I was lying on the floor, injured and unable to move when the second Mujahedeen rocket struck my home in Northern Afghanistan.” Explained Najaf after the massacre of his Village in Mazar-e-Sharif. This kind of devastation is not irregular among villages across Afghanistan because of the Mujahedeen. “I was losing blood from my leg, I looked around and saw the bodies of my family lifeless but I was determined to survive.” Najaf doesn’t recall the exact date, but earlier, his eldest brother had been out collecting honey for his family when he was shot dead. He died from a single shot. “This was during the communist times.” says Najaf. When the Mujahedeen militia were at war with the invading Russians. Later, when the Taliban took control of his hometown of Mazar-e-Sharif, both his cousin and uncle are burnt to death in their own house. The conflict continues to impact upon Najaf’s adulthood. In 1998, the Taliban invaded Mazar-e-Sharif again and kidnapped Najaf and any other survivors. “I was tortured usually whipped by cables, but beyond mine and my family’s belief I was released.” He explained. Najaf knew he wouldn’t be as lucky a second time so he was left with only one choice, to escape the country and find a safe place for his family. "I wanted

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