AfghanistanPoemsRobina Karimi

Herr Friedrich, King of the Immigration Office

Robina Karimi

Kabul, Afghanistan


Since I came to Germany
I have met warm-hearted and malicious people.
Well-wishers supported me again and again,
while malicious people put obstacles in my path.

The person who ruins a week of my life every month
is none other than the esteemed Herr Friedrich.
He works for the immigration office.
Every time I go there he is ready with a comment to intimidate me.
And if I then cry, I get the feeling he is pleased.
When speaking to my lawyer, he told him
“Sometimes you win, sometimes I win.”
I wish someone would tell Herr Friedrich what is at stake here.
Not the daily battle between him and my lawyer.
Not which of the two wins or loses.
What is at stake is nothing other than my life.

Herr Friedrich is someone who thinks all Afghans are dishonest, liars
and good-for-nothings.
And I have to say, again and again,
that none of us came here of our own free will.
No one wants to leave their family and their country,
however devastated and decayed their homeland may be.

This week I was at the immigration office again.
I waited two hours for my appointment.
Then I was sent away again.
It was Herr Friedrich himself who turned me away.
When he saw how dejected I was, he gave a self-satisfied grin.
Waiting again.
For five hours.
For the next appointment.

I heard that Germany is the country
where people are treated justly.
So I hope that Herr Friedrich,
who has the arrogance to behave like the king of the immigration office,
and thinks himself omnipotent in the world of asylum,
gets his just desserts for his behaviour.

I asked the people in the Senate
what they would have done if they had been in my position.
They had no answer.


Robina Karimi (17)

fled alone from Kabul in Afghanistan. Her mother died young, and her beloved brother is still in their homeland. As she was categorised as being of age, although her passport states otherwise, Robina had to leave sheltered housing and now lives with her sister, who has also come to Berlin to work.