THE UNBULGARIANS: KIDS AT SCHOOL ARE GOOD

interview by Dimana Trankova; photography by Anthony Georgieff

The Mohamadi family of 52-year-old watchmaker Radjab and his 43-year-old wife, hairdresser Masume, is from Bamiyan, Afghanistan.

the mohamadis.jpg

They arrived in Bulgaria with their two daughters Khadije, 16, and Narges, 15, in 2012, forced by the unstable situation in their home country. They have applied for refugee status, and have been living in the State Agency for Refugees camp In Ovcha Kupel, Sofia, and the girls go to school. They say that the national costumes in their area of Afghanistan are similar to the ones we photograph them wearing.


Have you felt special treatment in Bulgaria because you are foreigners?
Khadije: The things are mostly good. No one calls me "foreigner." The kids at school are good.
Radjab: We are well here. No problems.

Masume, have you been discriminated against, because you are a woman?
Masume: No. We have only administrative problems. Why are hey not granting us refugee status?

Is there anything typically Bulgarian?
Khadije: We cannot answer this question. We can say only good things about the Bulgarians. We love Bulgarians.

Did Bulgaria surprise you?
Khadije: No. The food is also similar to ours: rice, vegetables.

Do you have Bulgarian friends?
Khadije: Yes, we do. At school.
Radjab: Yes. The neighbours around the camp.

Do you know anything about Bulgarian holidays?
Khadije: Yes – Baba Marta, Christmas and Easter, when you colour eggs. We put on Martenitsa.

Describe Bulgaria in three words.
Radjab: Nice seasons. Good people. I like Bulgaria.

Do you plan to stay in Bulgaria?

Khadije: We want to live here. Because we love Bulgaria and we want to have a decent life. I love studying history and biology, I love all the subjects, sometimes I am thinking of becoming a doctor, but more I want to become an archaeologist. I love archeology.
Narges: We are also learning to play the guitar.

 

EEA GrantsThe UnBulgarians is a project of the Free Speech International Foundation and the Multi Kulti Collective, sponsored by the NGO Programme in Bulgaria under the Financial Mechanism of the European Economic Area 2009-2014

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