The story of two asylum seekers in Finland: Arezo’s and Saboora’s three drawings

by , under Enrique Tessieri

Two women, a young mother of two children, and of a teenage girl who traveled with her family to Finland in 2015. Both have something in common even if they are from different countries: Both are refugees who still don’t know if they will get asylum in Finland. Two years have gone by since their long and dangerous journey started to Finland.

The first drawing is by Arezo*, who came to Finland from the Afghan city of Ghazni, located in southeastern part of the country.

“The trip to Finland took about a month,” she said. “It started from Afghanistan, and then we went with my husband and two children, who were then four- and two-years-old,  we went to Pakistan, Iran, Turkey, Greece, Macedonia, Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia, Austria, Germany, Denmark, Sweden and finally Tornio, Finland.”

Arezo said that the journey was arduous and that she was especially afraid for her family when they boarded a boat that took them from Turkey to Greece.

“The journey was long and difficult,” she continued. “We came with a lot of hope, but now there hangs a big question mark if we will get asylum in Finland.”

Arezo’s drawing shows a boat sailing from Turkey to Greece with the words in Finnish: “The journey was challenging. Please stop deportations [of asylum seekers].

The Iraqi teenager, whom we will call Saboora*, is 18 years old and likes to draw. In the first drawing, she said that the journey from Turkey to Greece was fast and took 45 minutes.

“My brother and parents started our journey to Finland from Turkey,” she said. “My family has been waiting for two years if we can stay in Finland. I don’t know what to think, all I can do is wait.”

Saboora said that she’d like to study to become a pharmacist if she and her family can stay in Finland.

According to Saboora, the journey from Turkey to Greece was fast and took only 45 minutes.
Saboora’s journey long journey from Iraq to Finland.

* The real names were changed because they are asylum seekers.