Photo © Rottkay
At the age of fifteen, Mahdi Hashemi (*2000) fled alone to Germany from the surroundings of Tehran, the capital of Iran. The story of his flight began much earlier, however; when he was only three months old, his family took him to Iran from Afghanistan. Whereas Mahdi cannot recall the first migration, the second was all the more memorable for him. When his father told him one night that he was to set off early the next morning, everything happened extremely quickly. During the journey he imagined what Europe might look like. On reaching Greece, at the latest, he felt sure that a better future awaited him, as the helpfulness of the people there gave him hope for his new life in Germany. Mahdi is now working towards his school graduation in Berlin and is occupied with the question, among others, of why as an Afghan refugee in Iran he felt forced to apologise simply for breathing the air.
In 2018 Mahdi Hashemi was awarded the Else Lasker-Schüler Poetry Prize.