"… the happiest man after two years of shit"

26.12.2015 daHEIM

Almost three years ago Milad moved into daHEIM's room 205 as its first resident ever. Back then, the housing at Staakener Strasse was still a first reception facility and Milad was shocked of being in Germany and not in Canada. Human traffickers had promised to take him to Canada but had left him in Hamburg.

He was the first we visited in his room to hear his story. To me it was special to listen "to the eldest resident" (in terms of time not age) inside the building - him who on March 6, 2015 had already "lived" there for two years. After he had told us his story there was nothing left to say.

On April 3, 2015 Milad was able to move out. His legal proceedings had been concluded with the recognition of his political prosecution in Iran. He moved into an apartment at Spandau Staaken.

Every now and then I thought about him. I would send him invitations to events he never answered. It seemed obvious that someone who had been at the mercy of a powerless life for two years, wanted to erase those memories for the benefit of present and future.

On December 7, 2015 Milad sent "Hello." „Sorry“, he wrote, „ if I send this email too late but I needed some times to find myself here and make everything right. Now after 7 month my apartment is like apartment ;)“

He invited us for an inaugural visit with Iranian lunch. We went to see him on December 20.

On the windowsill is that very same turtle that had been staring unswervingly - stoic or lapidary - at Thoben tower. The turtle's view has improved though: Light is pouring into the 30 sq.m. room in the third floor of a six story building in a newly built residential area.

He enjoys the quit in the suburbs when coming back from his daily trips to Berlin. He knows the city from Spandau to Prenzlauer Berg, he likes Wittenau and Reinickendorf, the quite neighborhoods. Meanwhile, he has achieved proficiency level B1 and thus acquired the decisive prerequisite to enter the job market. In January he will start an internship with Deutsche Bahn in the field of project management. It fits his job description.

Whether his soul is slowly starting to relax, I want to know. Two months ago, he has started to work with his soul, he replies. Every night at 9 pm he is going for a long walk. Since then, he has lost 10 kilos, step by step. His hair is 4 cm shorter.

Once he had shown the HEIM to the neighbor who lives in the second floor. They were in front of the building at 1 am at night. "Was everybody asleep?" I asked him. He laughs, "Maybe half of them."

Then he adds that now, after two years of shit, he is the happiest man.

Those words he once said in room 205 at a beautifully set table still linger: „There are many times I lost my life. I was depressed. There are many times I got up. There are many times we are happy or we were sad. I never forget these two years.“*

On the windowsill, next to the turtle, the portraits of his family are lined up neatly. The sadness of not seeing them indefinitely remains.

* Please Opens internal link in new windowgo to room 205 to see the whole conversation we had with Milad in March 2015.

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Bessere Aussichten: Damals wie heute sitzt die Schildkröte auf dem Fensterbrett

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"A room of one's own"

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Rückblende: Am 3.4. 2015 zog Milad aus

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Milad im April 2013

caveng_KUNSTASYL photo Dachil Sado

zu gast: bc, Aymen

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zu gast: Dachil

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Milad, Dachil, barbara, Aymen