Author(s): Mustafa Darbandi
Hiding in a tiny dark cave in the border triangle between Iraq, Iran and Turkey, Mustafa Darbandi is facing his fear that he may not survive. On the run because of his membership of a banned Kurdish freedom movement, he has begun an extraordinary journey. It will take him from Iraq to Turkey to Iran to Pakistan to Afghanistan and finally to New Zealand. Along the way he will be threatened by security forces, mercenaries, police, helicopters, landmines, wild wolves and even UNHCR indifference. After several years in exile he finally arrives in his new home. "In my desperation the idea crept into my mind that death was death whether I got killed or starved to death. Perhaps putting an end to my life would be preferable to being captured by mercenaries or eaten alive by wild animals..." "When I set foot on New Zealand soil, I felt born again. After I'd been uprooted from my town and village in Kurdistan, New Zealand became the bedrock of my security, offering me an opportunity to become who I am".