Massoud’s Story

‘I don’t know which one to hug first.’

by: Mahmoud, an Afghan refugee in Belgium

Massoud has been in the UK for two years – when he left Iran his wife Mina was pregnant. His daughter Banu was born whilst they were apart and he watched her grow from a baby into a toddler via phone calls, photos and short video clips his Mina and their family send him. The latest one he has shows her giggling as she plays around the security gates as they leave to join him.

Back home Massoud was an artist, earning a living painting commercials for a range of clients. Mina was a hairdresser. After being granted asylum in the UK he immediately applied for his wife and daughter to join him here and Mina and Banu were granted visas soon after.

Massoud hopes in the future he’ll be able to continue his work as an artist and that Mina will also learn English quickly and be able to resume her work.

At the airport Mina and Banu are in good spirits despite the overnight flight. Even Banu has been learning English words and she’s prompted to respond with ‘thank you’ and calls ‘daddy’ on the car ride home.

When they reach home there is a welcoming committee of Massoud’s friends and lunch waiting for them.