"My name is Maria. I am from Afghanistan, where I lived with my family, before we all came to Europe."
Maria Haidarian is 23 years old and lives in RRC Harmanli. She used to live in the city of Farah in Afghanistan with her family and the family of her cousin. As a result of the social situation in the city associated with violence and civil war, Maria, along with her family, left her home country. In addition to this, Maria explains that her brother had been subjected to physical violence and threats. She tells a tragic story that has left its emotional scars on her and her family.
She says that the decision to leave Afghanistan was not easy. "After that, we began our journey to Europe. From Afghanistan through Iran, Turkey and now - Bulgaria. My family and I are looking for security and a normal life. In Bulgaria we feel safe. There are no bombs, explosions and daily threats."
Maria says that she would like to go to school - "Education is very important. For example, I studied English very hard in Afghanistan and now I use this language in my work as an interpreter."
She also talks about how her parents would like to find work. "This will help us live better while we're here. If we're lucky, perhaps one day we could settle permanently in Bulgaria or in Germany, where we have relatives."
Maria shares what she has gone through with a lot of emotion - smiles and tears alternate during her story. She shares her dream of one day becoming a teacher herself - "I want to teach children so that they learn a lot and have a chance to live well. This is my dream".
Maria manages to smile despite the difficulties she has gone through. She is keeping her dream to live a good life, alive.
At the moment, Maria works as an interpreter with IOM Bulgaria’s mobile teams. She speaks Dari, Pashto, Urdu and English.