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Why I am a Refugee in Canada

I have been in Canada since October 1994. I was born in the city of Kabul, Afghanistan and lived there all my life until being forced to flee for my life in 1984 to Pakistan. After a few years living in Pakistan, I got the opportunity to come to Canada.

Since I can first remember, I had a happy life living together with my whole family and my financial situation was good in Afghanistan. My four brothers and I were studying at the University of Kabul.

At the time when the communist government took control of my country in 1978, some of our family including me were visiting my grandfather in Pakistan. Although we knew that our lives would be in danger, we went back to our country. We observed that everything had changed. Everywhere soldiers were standing with their weapons and asking people for their documents.

More than 95% of Afghan residents didn't like communism because they knew that this regime is against their religion and freedom and they might fall under the power of the Soviets.

Soon there began a fight named Jihad against the government. Jihad includes all the activity against invaders. Most of the people who worked for the communist regime helped the Mujahideen, groups of people who took part in Jihad. In March 1979 I was arrested and sent to jail just because of writing a bad sentence against the communist party, although everybody knew that it wasn't my writing. When the Soviet military invaded Afghanistan in December 1979 they killed President Amin who was the leader of the communist party at that time and they put in a new president of their choice. (People have said that happened because he hadn't obeyed some order of the Soviet president and had made contact with the USA.)

After this incident, Jihad started spreading. Many people including students from the different institutions joined the Mujahideen.

In 1980 a mass demonstration was organized by the students at the University to condemn the Soviet invasion. I was an active participant. The demonstration was ruthlessly put down by government troops, several students were killed and injured and many were arrested, I among them. After 3 months in prison I was released, so I went back to the University. In 1984 before I finished my studies, one of our friends was arrested. While he was being tortured, he told the communists all the names of our friends who were working together against the government. Some of our friends were arrested, but most of us escaped from danger and walked through the mountains to Pakistan which took us about one week and was very dangerous. Later I came to Canada to seek refuge.

Now I feel myself in a free and democratic country. But I cannot forget all my past life, my family, relatives and my helpless needy people. I hope one day I can help them.

M.S., Scarborough
June 1996

From The Scarboro Heights Record V5  #1