Home News “I escaped at 16 from the hell of Kabul. And now my brother is a Taliban leader “

“I escaped at 16 from the hell of Kabul. And now my brother is a Taliban leader “

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Alem in an old photo: he escaped from that life

Alem Saidy arrived in Italy with a refrigerated truck and works in Cessalto. “I’m afraid for my mother and my sister, I would like them to come here”

TREVISO. One is the father of a family in San Donà and works in Cessalto, the other, the brother, is a Taliban who has remained in Kabul. The parallel lives of Alem and Rostan are destined never to meet again.

Today Alem, who lives in San Donà, fears for his sister and mother who have remained at home: “There is no democracy in my country and I suffer for them and for all the women of Kabul.” He arrived in Italy in 2008, hidden in a refrigerated truck that unloaded him as a frozen package in Cessalto, on the A4.

In reality, the vehicle was transporting oranges destined for Italy and 9 fugitive Afghans had already been arrested in Greece. Not the strong-willed Alem who hid and risked freezing to death. He dreamed of freedom, a life in the West, and his dream came true on the banks of the Piave.

Alem Saidy was 16 years old, who fled Afghanistan, passing through Patras after an adventurous journey told in the book “Up to life”, written by Gianpaolo Gianni, the man who with his wife and family then adopted Alem by offering him an opportunity extraordinary to be reborn.

Today he is 29 years old, married and the father of two wonderful daughters, and works at Ondulkart in Cessalto. A family like many in Italy, but for him a truly unthinkable goal until a few years earlier, when he lived in the privations of a life that he no longer accepted. Brother Rostan, 10 years older, remained in Afghanistan and participated in the takeover of Kabul with the Taliban in August. Their parallel lives haven’t met since 2017, when Alem returned home and got to see his family and brother albeit briefly.

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While still young, Rostan had been sent by his father to a Koranic school, equivalent to our boarding school where the most undisciplined children ended up. And the elder brother became so radicalized to become a military commander with 60 mujahideen under his orders that in August they participated in the capture of Kabul, turning the page definitively after years in which a glimmer of democracy had been painstakingly built. Alem in the hospital in San Donà, where he had been hospitalized once extracted from the refrigerated truck, met a nurse, Patrizia Gianni, who then took him to his family where he remained for 6 years. He is the first figure you remember in Italy, while he was stroking him in the hospital bed still semi-conscious from the hardships and suffering he suffered. He became an Italian citizen and here he raised his family, rebuilding a life destined for very different destinies. «My concern is for my mother and my sister» he explains «but when I spoke to my brother last time he assured me that they are safe and have nothing to fear. I would have liked so much to have them come to Italy too. I fled from Afghanistan because I could no longer live. I was forbidden to wear a hat, I was forced to pray and to follow a certain way of life in which there was no respect especially for women. Now, with the Taliban in power there is no certainty of democracy, women are forced to restare at home, they cannot study, go out alone. My brother has embraced another creed, he claims that those who want to escape from Kabul are in fact wrong, but I don’t think so and I understand their desire for freedom which was mine. ” Giovanni Cagnassi

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