They say all roads lead to Rome. Even that of Mussa Khan and the thousands of Afghan muhajirins for whom Italy is just a stop in the restless and tormented search for a better life. Among the building sites along the Ostiense Station stops the story of a journey that has no end
The “Mussa Khan” project started after sharing with Afghan and Iranian muhajirin the sidewalk of the Rome Ostiense station. And from having heard and shared the stories of Asif, Mortazavi, Reza and Abbas
In Igoumenitsa the muhajirins dream of Europe. It does not matter if they are there already: for them, the one that counts is on the other side of the Adriatic. Here Mussa Khan too, as many before him, tries his hand with fate.
Patras. Along with migrants from all over the world, the muhajirins are also waiting for the right moment to jump the fence bordering the port, in a surreal and dangerous hide and seek with the police. The stake, though, is high: a ship towards Italy and the dream called “Europe”
Athens. The place where democracy was born hides a dark and painful side: it is the streets and squares where the muhajirins live illegally, waiting for a future that never comes. A black hole that swallows lives and destinies, where Mussa Khan seems to have gotten lost
Victims of conflicts that do not concern them, like the hoary one between Greece and Turkey, which has left a mortal trail of mines along the border of the Evros. Even when they get to the long desired Hellenic land, however, the muhajirins find a country in the midst of an economic crisis, less and less willing to offer them protection and grant them asylum
Turkey, Bulgaria, Greece. Three separate nations united by the Evros-Meriç-Maritsa, today the last door for the muhajirins attempting to land in Europe. Maybe Mussa Khan has already passed here, but more and more of his traveling companions are losing their lives in the dark meanders of the river
Istanbul: connection between two continents, Asia and Europe. Where refugees like Mussa Khan are obliged to pass, especially now that the routes of the muhajirins have shifted towards North. Here, their destiny crosses with the contradictions hovering between economic development and denied rights
The Silk Road of the Third Millennium carries human flesh. Its terminal on Turkish soil is Izmir: here, muhajirins arrive. Muhajirins, like Mussa Khan, who try the Aegean route to end up, too often, at the bottom of the sea. To look for him, I need to enter Basmane, Europe’s door of the last
The distance, journey and precariousness are not enough to deprive the Afghan refugees of their roots. The “Jirga” meets also in Gaziantep. The assembly of elders sits to face the painful topic of exile, but also day-to-day problems of those who hover between a bitter present and an uncertain future
The kaçakçılar, human traffickers, have neither business cards nor sales offices. They mingle with the people in the alleys, in the cafés, in the square in front of the mosque. Shifty, invisible, always on the migrants’ route, they could be the only way to find Mussa Khan’s tracks again
Still in Van and of Mussa Khan, no news. The journey amongst the Afghan muhajirins continues: trapped in the Turkish city, in the limbo of temporary asylum waiting to continue their journey, even illegally, through Greece and Italy
“At night, in Yuksekova, the army has permission to shoot at sight. If you go up there, be very, very careful”. On OBC, the journey in search of Mussa Khan continues. An Afghan refugee on the path to a dream called “Europe”. A dream that is all too often paid with one’s own life
Months, years, constantly moving. Rejected, invisible, on the margins. This is the destiny of the Afghan muhajirins, on a tenacious search for the dream called “Europe”. Starting from today, with the episodes of the “Mussa Khan” blog, we are going to tell their odyssey through Turkey, Greece and Italy, until the Ostiense Station in Rome
Mussa Khan is muhajir, a refugee seeking a safe place to live. His story is the one of the many young Afghans who try to reach Europe to ask for asylum. In 14 episodes the blog "Mussa Khan" retraces his steps through the 5,000 km that separate Iran from Italy.