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"What is home?"

This is the question that Alex Holmes, long term volunteer in Calais, asked of Farzane, an asylum seeker from Iran now in the UK. This is Farzane’s personal response which she wanted to share:

‘Some people believe that home is where we live, when you ask them where home is, they give the home address. It has never been like this for me.

If I had been asked this question as a teenager, I would have answered that cuddling and stay between your lover’s arms, with safety, peace and love and a sense of belonging feels your home.

But later I changed my mind. What if you can't hug or hold your lover hand in the street? Because the police will arrest you both for this.

You may laugh at my definition of home, but if you were born in the country I was in (Iran with Islamic government), you would realize that every single one of these sentences is an unattainable dream.

For me, home is a place where you can easily hold or kiss your lover even in the street. Home is a place where you can freely choose or change your religion, you can easily get acquainted with other religions and decide for yourself what religion you want to have.

Home is a place where you will not be afraid of losing your life, safely, job and family if you have changed your religion. Home is a place where if you do not believe in hijab, you can freely take off your scarf without stay in jail for at least 10 years.

Home is a place where you can ride a bike or motorcycle without fear of being arrested by the police. Home is a place where if you didn't wear scarf and your hair was found, no one would spill acid on your face (like Marzieh Ebrahimi) so you aren’t afraid if a motorcycle wants to pass near you.

Home is a place where if a teenage girl does not come home at night, her father will not easily behead her tomorrow and the police will not support her (like Romina Ashrafi).

Home means you can easily worship a kind father more kind than any earthly father and introduce him to your friends without fear ‌of punishment or death.

Home means a place of peace and love. Home is a place where you smile when you think about it. I hope everyone finds their home.’

Photo taken by Farzane to accompany her text.

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