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6 October 2021

‘Poem of an Afghan Survivor’

For Blackfriars Year 9 student Mojtaba Rahimi, the situation unfolding in Afghanistan really hits…

For Blackfriars Year 9 student Mojtaba Rahimi, the situation unfolding in Afghanistan really hits home.

Mojtaba, 14, was born in Tehran, Iran, but his family is originally from the Uruzgan province in southern Afghanistan.

His homeland has been in the news in recent months, as the Taliban seized control of the country following the withdrawal of western troops.

The softly spoken student – who wants to one day become a lawyer – came to Blackfriars in late Term 2, following a year-long stint at an English language school.

He came to Australia with his parents, older brother and younger sister “for a better life”.

“Some people (in Iran) were racist, talking about our culture … and telling us to go back home,” said Mojtaba, adding his “neighbours were very nice”.

He said, as an Afghan, the current situation in his home country was very hard to see.

“It really makes me feel sad when I see the videos on social media,” he said. “The women getting taken away by the Taliban, the men getting killed …”

As part of his Year 9 English studies, with teacher Silvana Cardone, Mojtaba recently wrote the following poem, reflecting on the situation in Afghanistan.

Poem of an Afghan Survivor

Let me tell you of the things that you do not know,
My people are alone and killed in their own home.
The world watches like vultures on the fence
Ready to grab the golden soil.
I stare, begging to Allah to grant my people a better future
But no men come to save you
and no horse or no chariot arrives to carry you.
I used to think about why we gave up our lives
to get on a boat for a better life.
I used to think how my country was once great
before the Taliban made it dangerous.
Now all I see are people running under the scorching sun seeking refuge
Children, watching the Soviet invasion and the Mojahedin
Crying, seeing their families in despair
Looking up at the birds, they hope to be free like them, at peace.

In late Term 3, Blackfriars’ student leaders cooked a barbecue lunch to raise money for those affected by the situation in Afghanistan.

The Caritas fundraiser also served to raise awareness of the suffering experienced by those affected by the upheaval.