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Sehaty Foreign Exchange


June 22, 2000

One-sided view of Afghans

I read some letters from Iranians about Afghan refugees who lived in Iran. First of all I must say that I am an Afghan and I am 22 and I have lived in Iran for more than 10 years. I finished high school in Iran and I know a lot about Iran.

But I feel sorry when I see someone saying that Afghans must leave Iran because they are a problem for Iran. They say Iranians are hospitable but if you ask an Afghan who has spent a few days in Iran he would give you a negative answer.Why?

Afghans in Iran did not come to their neighboring country to make trouble ["Not welcome"]. They left their county because a foreign country (Soviet Union) came and occupied Afghanistan and if they had stayed they would have been killed or would have been forced to kill someone.

Most of them had a very good life in Afghanistan.They had their homes, their cars, thier farms and thier country but when they came to Iran they left everything.

They chose your country because Iran and Afghanistan had the same history, the same religion, the same language, the same culture and there were lots of similarities between the two countries.

When they came to Iran as refugees there was war between Iran and Iraq so they tried not to become a problem and put the Iranian government under pressure. Some of them went to villages and farms and started to help Iranians in farming. Some of them took part in the war voluntarily on the Iranian side. Do you know how many Afghans were killed during the eight-years of war?

During these years that Afghans have been living in Iran they have had a hard life. They had difficult jobs that most Iranians could not afford.

The Iranian government blames Afghans for the bad economic condition of Iran but I don't think that Afghans are the cause because they have not received any benefits from the government. They earn less than what they deserve and they never complain about it.

What would be your reaction if the U.S. government says that they want to remove Iranians and send them back to Iran? Everyone would complain about it and about humans rights but no one would complain if Iran decides to do that to the Afghans. If Afghans had spent these years in any other country they would have become citizens of that country and they would have a better life than now.

When I was in Iran I heard this said a lot that a mother would tell her child, "Don't do that or else I will tell an Afghan to eat you." With this kind of understanding of Afghans I should not expect anything from Iranians and I must forget all the similarities between our two countries.

But I do not want to judge. I have met some nice Iranians and I had some good Iranian friends whom I am still in touch with. But my problm is with the goverment which has not understood the Afghan people.

Every society has got its own good and bad people and we should not see them with one eye. Anyway these were my thoughts and I would be pleased to receive yours.

Nematullah Mohammady
Maidstone, England


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