Sayed Sadaat, 49, was the Minister of Communications for the Government of Afghanistan. In December of last year, he moved to Germany in hopes of finding a better and safer future. Now he works as a delivery boy in the city of Leipzig, taking food from home on his bicycle. His story became especially relevant with the chaos that ensued in Afghanistan after the Taliban took power and the attack in Kabul that left at least 183 dead and 200 injured on Thursday.
Sadaat told Reuters that some of his relatives criticized him for accepting such a post after serving in the government as a minister for two years, leaving the post in 2018. For him, however, the most important thing now is having a job. “I don’t need to feel guilty about anything,” says the Afghan-British citizen, in his orange uniform beside his bicycle. Three years ago, he resigned from a nongovernmental position due to misunderstandings as a member of the president’s circle, he explains. “I hope that other politicians will also follow the same path, working with citizenship rather than just hiding.”
Now, their family and friends also want to leave the country and hope to follow in the footsteps of the thousands of people who have already managed to escape on evacuation flights chartered by different countries. They also consider trying to find other routes. With the withdrawal of US troops on the horizon, the number of Afghan asylum seekers in Germany has risen since the beginning of the year by more than 130%, show data from the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees.
Although the former Afghan Communications Minister holds dual citizenship and may have chosen to move to the UK, where he spent much of his life, he moved to Germany in late 2020, taking advantage of his last chance before Brexit. Sadaat chose Germany because he hoped to have a better economic future and find his place in some leadership position in the telecommunications sector in the long term.
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Even with his career in public office, Sadaat has had difficulty finding a job in Germany that matches his experience. He has a degree in information technology and telecommunications, so he was hoping to find work in a related field. But without knowing German, his chances of getting it were slim. “The language is the most important part,” says Sadaat. Every day she takes four-hour German lessons at a language school before starting her six-hour night shift delivering food through Lieferando, where she started working in the summer. “The first few days were exciting but difficult,” he explains, mentioning the challenge of learning to ride a bike in city traffic. But he feels satisfied: “The more you go out and the more people you meet, the more you learn.”
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