"I am originally from Afghanistan, but my family left for Iran when I was two or three years old, fleeing after years of physical and mental torture in Afghanistan. I was too young when we left to remember my initial impressions of Iran, but there isn't much I miss about my home country. I've been a refugee my whole life, but I know that all the experiences I've had contribute to my desire to help others regardless of their background or the terms that might apply to them.
It has been important to me, during my time in Iran, to share my knowledge to help others where possible. I have worked as a translator, volunteered to organize activities to foster integration and stood up for migrant rights whenever I could. Still, I know that the journey away from home can be difficult and dark for some.
The more time I spend in Iran, the more I turn the question of migration around in my mind. For those who are considering it, I would tell them to take their time to learn the culture of the place they are going to, and to remember that as humans they are not different, but their pure culture might make them feel out of place in the beginning. For those in host countries: do not be afraid by media, trust your heart to see the realities of a world on the move.
I have no clear idea what home is, because it's something that can be destroyed at any moment. But my advice for anyone arriving in a new country is to show the people who you really are - you'll start to feel the difference."
This story is brought to you in partnership with The Refugee Cultural Festival, 2017 edition. The festival was launched to encourage small, local actions to embrace diversity and support those forced to leave their homes due to war, famine and climate change. Learn more about the festival and donate by clicking here.