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Haroon, 18 years old, from Afghanistan

"My name is Haroon and I am 18 years old. I have lived in the Netherlands for two years with my family, my parents, two younger brothers and my Grandmother. We came to the Netherlands around October 2015 and we lived in various centres before being settled in the AZC in Maastricht.

When I first arrived In Maastricht, I had no friends, no contacts and as I was trying to make new friends, I joined the Refugee Project Maastricht (RPM). Whilst there I participated in various events and started working with them on a voluntary basis as an interpreter. As soon as I arrived in Maastricht I started learning Dutch. I wanted to act as a bridge for people arriving in Maastricht, in order to bring them into the community, integrate them into society and give them the same warm feelings of welcome I received, and I was successful in my ambition.

I can remember my first day in school, it was on the 10th of January 2016, I also participated in the Nationaal Jeugd Debat (NJR) and i went to The Hague on March 2017 for a debate about the future and development of The Netherlands from various aspects. Recently I Graduated from ISK Sint Maartens in July 2017 and have been accepted in my dream school, the United World College Maastricht (UWC) in a promise program.

Despite doing all activities, organizing events, participating in various events and building a massive network in Maastricht, I have now been told I have no place in the Netherlands and I have been told to leave the country with my family. After waiting two years for my asylum, me and my family have been declined by the immigration and naturalization services in the Netherlands. This means we will be deported in very soon future."

(Photo & Story by Haroon Rezaie)

Some of Haroon's friends have started an online petition at to support Haroon and his family staying in the Netherlands, and within a few weeks they've garnered 18000+ signatures. If you would like to add your signature and support, please click on: and if you would like to contact Haroon directly, do not hesitate to reach out.

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