A letter to Mrs Merkel

Posted by thomas hiotis on August - 3 - 2017 with Comments Off on A letter to Mrs Merkel

I am writing this letter hoping that the wings of the “Migratory Birds” will carry it over the closed Balkan borders and deliver it into your hands.  I’m not sure whether you will actually welcome this greeting, because I am an Afghan girl and perhaps I deserve to be deported, even though my country is in the worst possible situation. However, I would ask you to read my letter and hear what I have to say. I started reading your biography in order to learn more about this famous lady who cares so much about migrants. As I was reading, I came across the word migrant.  I had no idea that you had had that experience. I read that you had emigrated to East Germany with your family, and I think that there are still scenes of that journey in your mind, although you were very young at the time. So we have this in common, because I carry the migration identity with me from a very early age right up till now.

As a woman, I admire your courage for launching the idea of an open border for the first time in Europe.  It was a humanitarian move that gave my people hope for a better future, something that had been so remote but you bought it closer.  Yet, just as we thought that we had grasped it, this feeling of happiness became more elusive.  In the end, the hope was offered to the Syrian people while the Afghans were left within walls and barbed wires.

Now I want to ask you why? Why was the idea of an open border turned into enforced closed borders? Why did this humanitarian action result in thousands of immigrants and war-torn refugees remaining in Greece and along the Balkan route? What is the difference between an Afghan and a Syrian refugee? Perhaps you have seen thousands of Syrian children, heard their complaints and have asked them about their experiences of war.  But I wonder if you have ever spoken to an Afghan child.  The answer that a Syrian child gives you will be about a four-year war, whereas an Afghan child speaks to you as a war analyst. He tells you about the 40-year-old war in Afghanistan, not just his own experiences but also those of his parents.

That said, I’m not a cruel person. I have sympathised and cried alone for the Syrian child and wished him well. However he has not experienced war the way I have, he didn’t have to be born outside his homeland, he has not been ostracized by strangers abroad like an Afghan child. He has come from his country directly to countries where he is welcome. A Syrian child, unlike an Afghan child, has not been bought and sold by his president.

I do not want to appear ungrateful because I know that many years ago you welcomed thousands of my compatriots into Germany with open arms. I don’t know the reason for this change, but it brings tears to my eyes.  I have been told that immigrants have a strong feeling of peace in Germany, that it is like a mother’s hug, and I ask myself why would you deny me that hug?

I’m not sure whether the failure of this action was due to the lack of co-operation from other European countries.  Or perhaps it was due to the large surge of immigrants who had heard, just like me, that Germany protects the children of immigrants and they have the same rights as German citizens.  Of course, I hold my opinions from a great distance.

Yes, I could feel your hospitality and your humanity despite the kilometers that separate us, and I see for myself the differences – which are psychological rather than material -between immigrants in Iran and immigrants in Germany. It is very commendable that an immigrant in your country has found the peace and security that (s)he is denied in his/her own.

If you still believe that I should be sent back to my country, then you must consider it safe, so I ask you, if it really is safe, why are there foreign troops there?  Do you believe that a safe nation requires troops? How can you judge Afghanistan to be peaceful when you have at least dozens of explosions and suicide bombers every day?

I have heard that you have repeatedly supported immigrants, but that you didn’t have public opinion behind you.  Unfortunately, people are often unjust and I want to tell you about the life I am condemned to lead because of this injustice.  I am talking of life under canvas.  Here time passes slowly, I don’t know what it is like there.  Here the old memories that keep repeating themselves have become tiring, I don’t know about there.  If this injustice didn’t exist, perhaps my parents wouldn’t have had to taste again the bitterness of migration.  Thousands of children and families, who were hoping for a better future with the support of Germany and its first lady, would have not lost their lives.

I have written all this not to complain about the distance but simply so that you can read it.  And out of habit I say: See you again soon!!


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