Becoming Habib Rahman
It was cold and the snow was everywhere. The trafficker cut the barbed wire and just said one word: “Run, Run, Don’t stop”. They all tried to run as fast as they could to pass the border. There were two friends left, one was stuck in the wire. They were trying to free him , when another boy, turned on his phone to help. Sina tried to warn him to turn it off in a low voice, but it was too late. The border fort alarm siren started and in a moment the Turkish soldiers were all around them. They were hit as hell and threw out of Turkey to Iran. His friends hand was broken and they were scared, when the trafficker found them and took them back to his own home, so that they could rest a bit and try again tomorrow. The next night it was only Sina’s breath companying the trafficker’s, all the others returned home. They silently climbed the mountains to the border.
Sina 27, has decided to leave Iran forever in one of the last days of fall, and come illegally and by foot to Europe, In the hope of finding his dreams and freedom outside his country. In a recent statistics there were more than fifty thousand asylum seekers in Europe every year are coming from Iran . Sina one of these refugees says there was no hope for him in Iran and he always faced restrictions about his cloth, his look, and the style of music’s he made. These reasons made him leave Iran with all its risks , and he hopes to grow in the Netherlands.
It was the last days of autumn 2015. It was getting worse in Iran for Sina every day. The garrison's seemed like a prison. He had to work in militia service for two years, being an Iranian boy, and his girlfriend cheated on her meanwhile. He didn't want to accept the ridiculous obligations anymore, and ran away again. He was remembering his chatting with Damoun, his best childhood friend when hid visa process was going on, he would show Amsterdam's pictures to Damoun and tell him You are going to live in these pictures. Drowned in the memories his phone ranged. It was his cousin telling him the Europe had opened its borders for the Syrian refugees. He went home in a rush. All the silence was disturbed there. His Father asked a friend who was a trafficker and he said I am going to go tomorrow night, tell your son to reach me close to the border then. Everything happened so fast. He packed his only bag and left home, to the Iran-Turkey border. They passed the border at last, and headed to Greece by boat. “ There were pieces of cloths and boats everywhere on the sea, close to the beach”, Sina says. There were just cries of joy, when they reached Europe at last.
They were placed in a camp in Greece for two days, where he found out only Syrian refugees can go further. He found an Afghan guy who could make fake identity papers, and he became Hamid Rahman. With the new name and some knowledge he got from Syria, he headed to Macedonia, with a bus to Croatia, and crossed through the border to Austria. It was a long risky way but his hope for a better life made him go through it to the end. In Austria all his companions decided to settle down and apply for asylum, but he had a special plan, he wanted to join his childhood friend Damoun. So he headed to Germany, when he was completely broke down, with no food, no money and no place to stay. He found an Iranian woman who helped him to go through Germany to Hamburg and then to the Netherlands.
He met Damoun at last in Amsterdam Central Station. He had barely enough energy to move, but had reached his goal. They went to Damoun’s family and after a week he applied as a refugee and was transferred to the refugee camp.
A place to live
Sina has a studio in downtown Amsterdam close to the historic buildings, and in a calm narrow street. In his home everything is perfectly arranged in the right place. Most of the furniture he has found in second hand shops, which he thinks are alive and have some kind of spirit. There are pictures of his family everywhere on the walls, bigger than all was her mother’s photo in the wedding dress right upon the coach. He is sitting in front of me with a strong, determined look, and doesn’t speak if I don’t ask a question. He has a tattoo on his hand which belongs to the time his refugee case was accepted and he got out of the refugee camp. It says : “ BORN WILD”
He usually stays home. cooks Iranian food, or play guitar. In the evening he go to some cafes in downtown with Damoun. They just chat or sometimes play billiard. The sometimes hike through the city at night.
Sina has no friend in the new home. Nevertheless life is as he dreamed it to be. He stills live in the photos he used too dream about. He has got epilepsy attacks back in Iran, but they are gone in the new home, which is a sign for him that he is really living a calm life here.
Hope for a path through music
Among all the refugees coming to Europe running away from war and insecurity, Iranians have different stories. Most of them come to Europe hopping for a calm an sustainable life. Sina says in Iran there is no place for me who want to have a different lifestyle, want to have free relationship with girls and live independent from my parents and the society.
Sina used to work as a musician in Iran. There are strict limitations to produce certain musical styles in Iran, like for example hip hop and metal music’s. The same as Damoun who is trying to be a metal singer, Sina wants to be a DJ and to study sound engineering at the university, goals which were not possible in Iran.
Sina usually goes to the electronic market which sells the DJ stuff and try to train on them.” After I learn enough Dutch language, I will study sound engineering, find a good job, and will buy one of these.” Sina says. He hopes to become famous and rich following his dream “I have come to Netherlands to live freely, to live real”.