Parwana Amiri is an author, poet and activist from Afghanistan who is living in Greece since September 2019. Her poetry may seem softly written, but it contains hidden stories and bitter truths.

Many people among the younger generation are thinking that if their ancestors were refugees and migrants from another country then they would not be so quick to judge those around them. This poem is a warm , lovely dialogue among a boy and his grandma that describes the lost dreams of his mother that wanted to find her child in it .

Illustration by Nazgol Muradi

We also had a house and a homeland for ourselves, but our house and our homelands got destroyed. We lost our beloved ones and our dreams, but we were brave to stand strong and leave our homeland to prepare the future of our children. We emigrated and moved away from our homes and became refugees “strangers”. But suddenly our weak shelters were set on fire and children were injured. We are human beings and we have the right to live in peace.

Now, it is you…and…they

You were so little, formed of blood

For nine months, she carried you

You were crying, you were yelling

With a warm hug, she enveloped you

She raised you and stayed with you


In the most critical moments

If she would have to choose

Your life or hers

She would wait, would hesitate

After a while, she would say

With a smile, it is “you”


Now, that she is gone, deep in the sky,

She watches you, she aids you

She admonishes: “stay strong”!

Focus your efforts, be the winner

Of this battle!

Now it is you … and… they


They who know endless pain in their veins

They who have no choice, no voice

Just orders they fear they must obey


If you are up and see them down

Hold their hands, help them be seen

Let them be heard through the world

With their own words!

That’s what she wants to see you do


If life is short, keep this in mind:

Each action counts and past is past

Use your time, warm your heart

Stay on your path, don’t feel unsafe

Life is a gamble, break the chains of doubt


We are all passengers of one train

Whose stations are uncertain

Those who now live under tents

With so much fear, so many worrying tears

Who lost their life, among these trails

Who are being killed in prisons


Take them away from freezing winds

Shelter them, with your heart

Share your love with compassion

Understand their repressed passion

For all those nights, they have tried so hard


Yes, now it is….I and…they.