“Everyone at Kiron has such a positive attitude…No matter race or religion, they desire to help all students.”  – Kiron Student, Muhammad

Steps of Hope

I was born in Parwan, a province in central Afghanistan, but more importantly, I am the son of a multicultural family. We moved a lot when my brothers and I were still very young, so I completed my basic education in different institutions between South Korea, Tajikistan, Pakistan and Afghanistan. Both of my parents were involved in politics. This didn’t help them when the war began in Afghanistan. After the loss of our father, my brothers and I were the only thing my mother had left. Unfortunately, the situation continued to get worse, and I realized that I had to leave my country as soon as I could if I too didn’t want to be a part of the war. So I did, I left. I simply ran away without knowing what awaited me or if I would ever see my family again. It was one of the scariest but best decisions I have made in my life.

I first arrived to Germany in the start of 2015 with the intention of continuing my education. Back home, in Afghanistan, I studied Computer Science at the University of Parwan and KOICA for two years, and later completed three semesters in Bioinformatics. I am also certified in my country to teach Persian literature, and to carry out the repairing of electronic devices such as smartphones, printers, etc. However, despite all of my hard work, since I fled my country due to the dangerous circumstances, I don’t have any original documents with me that can prove my achievements of some level of higher education. This has been one of my biggest problems since I arrived  in Germany. Despite the struggle, I was lucky enough to come across Kiron the same year of my arrival, where I was quick to start my journey with them as a self-established volunteer. I soon realized that with Kiron, I had the chance to get back on my feet with my studies.

I am here on my own and responsible for my younger brother. At the same time, I am doing as much as I can to move on with my life and build a future for myself. During my two years of living in Germany, I have volunteered in many organizations such as Kino Asyl, Light House (Bayernkaserne) and Welcome Café. I currently work full-time at the Innere Mission München as a social caretaker. I also have a vocational training certificate (Ausbildung) as a Cultural Interpreter (Kulturdolmetscher) and am in the process of completing a second one as an instructor for Cultural Awareness & Misunderstanding. Yet above it all, I am a full-time student with Kiron, my top priority. I feel very fortunate to have found Kiron. Kiron has given me the opportunity to continue with my studies and hopefully get transferred to a German university where I can eventually obtain my degree. While I have taken several courses taught by Coursera, there is one particular course I found very interested: “Qualitative Research Methods.” This course allowed me to further understand data collection and analytical methods in social sciences, which I believe play key roles in the overall understanding of Political Science. I also really enjoyed “Human Rights: Refugees Rights” offered by edX, because my future goal is to be able to help people through equity and social fairness, which is very well explained through specific examples throughout this course.

Throughout my entire life, I’ve had to endure some difficult situations. Despite the loss of my father, the trauma of being kidnapped, and the pain of not having spoken to my mother in months and the constant worrying about her and her safety, I somehow still feel hopeful. I refuse to give up hope, and I truly believe that Kiron is a big step towards offering a better future. Sometimes I ask myself why I chose Political Science as my course of study. But it’s easy. I am following the steps of both of my parents, I want to contribute to making the world a safer and better place for everyone. I want to fight for justice and human rights, and I want to help others avoid going through life-threatening situations the way my family and I did.

Interview by Patricia Segovia