AfghanistanAward WinningMahdi HashemiPoems

Rules in the Institution

Mahdi Hashemi

Ghazni, Afghanistan


If you use the telephone,
I’ll take it away from you!

I want to go out!
You aren’t allowed out in the evening.

I want to watch a film!
Only until ten o’clock!

I don’t want to go to school tomorrow!
Then we’ll throw you out!

Can I sleep at a friend’s place tomorrow?
No, tomorrow you have to go to school!

Can I go back to Iran?
No, that’s not legal.

Can I die?
You’re crazy. No, you have no right to do that.

Can I live?
That’s a difficult question.


The Poetry Project | Foto © Rottkay

Mahdi Hashemi (*2000)

When he was an infant, his family fled from Afghanistan to Iran. There, he grew up as a refugee, close to the capital Tehran. Mahdi Hashemi writes about why Afghan refugees in Iran even apologise for breathing the air there. Photo © Rottkay