Ahmed: The Interview (S1E7)

Ahmed VegasIn March this year Ahmed decided he had seen enough destruction and suffering in Iraq. On a long journey mainly on foot through Turkey, Bulgaria, Serbia and Hungary he reached Germany. In Chemnitz he found a temporary home in a refugee camp. Ahmed is a passionate writer and painter with a big dream. He wants to write screenplays for movies. Although he faced war, death and a tough escape through woods passing many borders, he is cheerful and warm hearted. He even already found locals in Chemnitz who encourage his talent. Let’s hope he will succeed.


1. What do your friends like about you?

They say I am a simple guy. I always advice and help them if I can. When you see a person, German or Arab, and smile at them, they will smile back.


2. What do you don’t like about yourself?

That I am a lonely young man that doesn’t have a girlfriend. A girl that stays with me the whole time. I feel incomplete. And I judge people too quickly or say things without thinking. Then I regret it. That annoys me.


3. When do you feel lonely?

When I stay alone in a room and when I write stories or paint. In Iraq, it was easier to kill that feeling because I worked with my father in decoration (moulding and plaster).


4. What makes you happy?

Mostly art, like writing and painting and also pantomime. I try to get in touch with filmmakers in my area so hopefully we can work together on a project. Friendship makes me happy and freedom. That’s most important to me and what I came here for. To find freedom.

Ahmed Vegas

5. What makes you sad?

What makes me sad is, when I lose a friend, a very precious friend. It already happened a couple times. Friendship is the most important thing in my life. I lost a friend in Iraq. Because of the war he was killed. And that’s what touches me a lot. I saw his death notice on Facebook which wrote: Moved to the mercy of God. I didn’t believe it so I called my friend to get the confirmation. When I did, I went crazy. I already was here in Chemnitz, Germany. I deleted my Facebook account after that. Why should I open Facebook? It will be full of his photos.


6. What’s your biggest struggle right now?

The biggest challenge for me is to be successful with my art. Because I risked my life and saw death with my eyes on the way from Iraq to reach here. I would like to be an author, a story writer, a known writer. My whole life is about art. Hopefully I’ll achieve that.


7. What do you regret?

I once had a girlfriend in Iraq. We separated shortly after I started doubting her fidelity. Later I found out that I had no right to do so and that she was innocent. Until now I regret that.


8. Please share a nice memory.

One day before I started my journey to Germany, I presented a play in Theatre in Iraq. After the play I talked to a girl and suddenly discovered that she was my childhood friend Saffa. We haven’t seen each other for 20 years. I always wondered if I would see her again. We were very close when we were kids. When we had to say Goodbye we both cried. It was the happiest day of my life when I saw her again. When I have my residence papers I will go back for her.


9. And a negative one?

For 2 month I lived with a Kurd in Turkey. We shared the same flat, the same food and the same life. He became a close friend. When i arrived in Germany, I was waiting for him. I told him to call me when he reaches so I could help him. But he had an accident. His boat drowned in Greece on his way to Germany and he died. The turkish police showed us his picrures. Until now his photos are on my mobile. Every time I remember him I get sad.


10. Did you take the same route to Germany?

No. I came walking all the through the woods. From Turkey to Bulgaria, then from Bulgaria to Serbia, Serbia to Hungary and from Hungary to Germany. The hardest thing was the Bulgarian woods. We heard that the bulgarian police was beating refugees and steals their money and belongings. And then forces them to go back to Turkey. So at one night we were hiding in a pond for many hours because they were just a few meters away using flash lights. I put all my things in a plastic bag and taped it to my foot. Fortunately the police didn’t find us. It was so called, I could feel my legs anymore. When they left we thought we could relax but then wolves came instead. The smuggler told us to close our eyes so they couldn’t see us.

* All photographs by Carolin Kraft

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