“My last memories of Iran are the mountains near the Turkish border. I was on the back of a horse behind a man I had never seen before. My mother was beside me on another horse. She barely could keep her balance so she hold on to the horse very tight. The roads were small and even though I was only 3 years old I realized very well that we could fall into the ravine any moment. My dad had left a few months earlier but got stuck while crossing the Turkish border. He was kept in a prison and he had no idea how my mother and I were doing. One day he heard that a 3-year-old boy and his mom fell into the raven near the border. He panicked and screamed. He was so upset that he demanded the guards to give him a newspaper. When we arrived in Turkey I finally saw my him again. Within a few months he had changed from a strong father into a weak and skinny man with a beard. I didn’t recognize him anymore so I would hide behind my mother’s legs. Only after he started talking and making jokes in his unique was, I realized that this man was my father.”
Together with my younger sister and pregnant mother we fled from Iran. I was only eleven years old but I remember everything very well. The first thing I saw when we arrived at the airport was a young couple making out in public. Something I wasn’t used to. We were placed in a refugee center and applied for citizenship. We kept moving from one refugee center to another without any clarity about the future. That changed autumn 2005. It was six a clock in the morning when the police woke us up. They said we had to leave the country and for the meantime we were placed in a detention center which is a fancy word for prison. The days passed by and after seven weeks they decided to review our case. When you go through something like that it’s hard to believe in the future. One year after we got released we received our residence permits. Slowly I started to move forward and make plans. I auditioned for theater school in Maastricht and surprisingly I got accepted. Even though I’m not a refugee anymore it still influences my life and also my work as an actor. For example, I’m now working on a production called ‘Nobody Home’. The title says it all. When you are a refugee you don’t belong anywhere.