Taibeh Abbasi is a teenage girl that was born in Iran to Afghan parents and fled to Norway with her mother and brothers in 2012. The Norwegian government will be putting her and her family at grave risk of serious human rights violations if it goes ahead with plans to return them to Afghanistan, a country that she has never even visited.
Taibeh goes to school and dreams of becoming a doctor. If she is forced to return to Afghanistan her aspirations will be completely destroyed. The Norwegian government has justified the family’s deportation by claiming that Afghanistan is safe for returns – but it is not.
But Taibeh is not alone, her classmates at the school in Trondheim, led a campaign to stop their return. There was massive support from over 1,000 high school students that protested against the government’s threat to deport one of their classmates.
In an emotive speech, Taibeh raised her voice to express her feelings about various facets of her plea to Norway:
Going to school
I’m the girl who always dreamed of going to school.
I am the girl who was treated unfairly for many years when I lived in Iran.
I used to stand in the window and look at the Iranian girls going to school.
My biggest dream was to be in their shoes, to gain knowledge and an education.
I dreamed of learning how to hold the pencil right and to write the letters correctly. So I and my brothers sat at home reading books.
Afghan refugees in Iran have virtually no rights. I remember how painful it felt that my brothers weren’t allowed to play football with the Iranian boys, they had to wear a different jersey and use another ball.
Being part of the Community
I’m the girl who walked on by foot through the mountains and crossed borders to get to a better life.
Norway was a country far away. But we were welcomed at the start. I liked Norway, even though I missed my mother and my little brother.
I was relieved. I felt that here, I have a future.
I absorbed every impression, the language, knowledge, the way of life. The other boys at the [asylum reception] centre got tired of me being so engaged.
I was experiencing coming to a country with many possibilities. A country with a future for me.
In recent years my family and I have lived in Trondheim.
We feel like a part of society here, at school, at the football pitch, at work and in the mosque.
We have many friends.
We have done what the Norwegian state has asked us to do: We have become integrated!
I have become a resource for Norwegian society.
I as an independent woman will have to submit to a male-dominated society.
In Afghanistan today, children and especially girls are kidnapped, raped, forced to marry, abused and other terrible things.
If I’m sent back, I could become one of them. My brothers also feel Norwegian. They see a dark future in Afghanistan.
We are touched and grateful for all the support and care we have received and continue to receive!
A special thank you to the students in the demonstration group who started this voluntarily and by themselves, for all that they have done for me and my family.
Thank you to everyone at Thora and Rosenborg [high schools] who gave us hope and strength.
Thanks to the football team in Vestby and to our good friends and supporters. Thank you to all of you!
In Kabul there is no future for me and my brothers.
We are going to a country we have never been to.
Once again we will be exposed to discrimination and physically feel what it is like to be an exposed minority.
We are not going to have a peaceful life.
We are not going to have a life at all.
I as a girl am particularly exposed. My dreams of an education and a career will be broken.
So please Norway:
Do not send me and my family to Afghanistan!
Let us have a peaceful life in Norway!
Give us a future!