“You have the right to seek asylum”

My name is Fariba and I come from Iran.

I’ve lived here for about three years. A year and a month ago, I got a residence permit.

Our difficulties are as old as the regime in Iran. Because of these difficulties, we have to leave the country. My husband was in prison for 5 years. When he got out, he got fired from his job. We were denied human rights.

My children have experienced even more difficulties in their lives. They were threatened and harassed. It was ordinary people who hurt us, not the regime. It was also authorities such as the Basij (Police) police chief, among others. All such authorities did us badly in different ways. Our lives were threatened almost continually.

Both my husband and I had big families. We decided to escape on many occasions, but for various reasons it did’nt work. I had problems because of some books I’d written.

I was a psychologist and worked at a NGU (Non-Governmental Organization) who was involved in preventing social damage. I also worked on the County Administrative Board, where I was responsible for inspection. I also worked as a teacher and lectured.

I liked helping people in my country, but I was also interested in writing. The books I wrote were forbidden and have never been published. That’s why I was arrested. I had no opportunity to do anything. I got standing hotels from the secret police, so I had to leave the country. I had to bring my grandchild every 5 months, because his parents were divorced. My son also came with us.

The trip was very difficult. Unable to describe it. I can’t even paint it with words.

We met many bad people, so-called smugglers. They are not any nice people. We had to trust them to move on. In addition to financial problems, we also had other difficulties. It could have been a book to tell it. But one thing I’ve suffered was that we were waiting a lot for a long time to be notified of our residence permit. I had heard about EU countries that everything works well if you tell the truth. It is also said that the queue system works excellent, but it was the other way around. It hurt and you are disappointed.

The whole trip was tough. The hardest thing was that I had to choose Sweden to seek asylum and stay in a country I hardly knew anything about. When I came here I met some people who hurt me. I received the wrong information from them and I was confused. Me and my son, who was hospitalized felt bad. My grandson felt bad. That was the hardest thing.

The flight from your country is always difficult and during the flight you always experience difficulties. The sence of loosing my identity was the worst experience for me, while I was waiting for the message from the Swedish Migration Board.

Today, everything is fine with me and I’ve become a Swedish citizen. Everything is moving forward.

I only miss my family and relatives living in Iran. I believe in a cosmopolitan society. I have lost my youth and middle age there. …. Excuse me! … Everything has disappeared. The best parts of my life … Yes, we should have come here earlier. Applying for asylum is not a choice, but you have the right to seek asylum. We should have applied for asylum earlier.


A Million Stories Sweden: Nizar Keblawi, Nina Olsson, Sara Sarabi, Malin Gillberg, Daniel Björklund, Mats Nordström.

A Million Stories Sweden volunteers: Fariborz Ghadir, Mohamad Mohsin, Yazan Saad, Tarek Aloudallah, Dalia Saleem, Yara Ali, Ahmad Younes, Chaimae Hamri.

In association with



Dublin Core: Language: sv Subject: asylum, refugees, A Million Stories, Sweden