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Witness
Qadir - an Afghan Ulysses
An Afghan refugee returns to his country after eight years, searching for his family.
Last Modified: 18 Jun 2009 13:54 GMT


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Filmmaker: Anneta Papathanassiou

When refugees are forced to flee their homeland they are not the only victims. They leave behind families, who are often torn apart too.

When Qadir was 17, the Taliban invaded his home town of Mazar-e-Sharif in Afghanistan and massacred 4,000 people.

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Qadir fled the country and for two years he travelled on foot across Pakistan, Iran and Turkey, finally settling in Greece.

There he built a new life but he always wanted to find out what happened to his family. He learnt to use a computer and now passes on his skills to other immigrants. He has a simple philosophy: "Anything can be achieved in life, if only you have the will."

Through the Red Cross he discovered that his family had also fled Afghanistan. But they have all now gone back, and so after an absence of eight years, Qadir decided to return home as well.

Filmmaker Anneta Papathanassiou travelled with him from Greece to Kabul and then to Mazaar-e-Sharif to find friends and relatives from the past. Her film of Qadir's very personal story gives a unique insight into Afghanistan's turbulent recent history.

Anneta Papathanassiou won the Best Documentary Award at the 2008 Roma Fiction Fest in Rome, competitive section, for Qadir.

Source:
Al Jazeera
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