Amir Ali Sabiri is only 23 years old, but the things he experienced could fill a whole novel. After he had managed to escape from Afghanistan and Iran, he finally found a new home in Germany. And now he passed the final exams for his apprenticeship at HORSCH with an outstanding result.
But it was a long way before he got his excellent diploma as an industrial mechanic in Schwandorf – and it started about 4,700 km away in the afghan province Samangan. This is where Amir Ali Sabiri was born.
When he was two years old, his family fled the Iran and found a new home in Isfahan, about 250 km south of the capital Teheran. His mother, his two brothers and three sisters still live there. His father died when Amir Ali was 13 years old. He had to leave school and work to support his family. At the age of 16 he met his first love, a girl of afghan descent like him. But her brothers did not agree to this relationship and threatened to kill him.
The House of the Good Shepherd
This was the reason why his mother and his uncle decided that Amir Ali had to leave the country in order not to be killed. As he could not go back to Afghanistan, he was to go to Scandinavia. For quite a lot of Afghans live in Sweden and Denmark
In a cloak and dagger operation he left Isfahan. This was the start of an odyssey that took more than five months and took him from Iran over Turkey, Romania, Hungary and Austria via Passau to Munich and from there finally to Schwandorf. At the end of this long journey he and other adolescent unaccompanied refugees found shelter in the „House of the Good Shepherd“ (a vocational preparation centre for adolescents) in Ettmannsdorf. At that time, he was not even 17 years old and had been on the run for more than five months non-stop.
The House of the Good Shepherd organised a visit to the vocational training centre in Schwandorf where they started to teach the young people German. For the language is the key if you want to gain a foothold in a foreign country and in a foreign culture.
When asked how he communicated on his flight through all the different countries, Amir Ali answers: “I knew a little English. In Iran I watched a lot of films in English with Persian subtitles. This is how I learned some English.“
After three months in the 10th grade Amir Ali was allowed to move to the 12th grade as he was doing so well. In this grade the pupils had the opportunity to take an internship in regional companies and test their skills and talents. He had already carried out internships as a metal worker in two companies when he finally joined HORSCH for a short-term internship. He performed so well that HORSCH offered him a training contract to become a “specialist for metals technology“. Without hesitation Amir Ali accepted. “I was grateful that I had finally found my place and by performing well I wanted to say thank you“, he said.
The training for a specialist for metals technology is a two-year, officially recognised vocation training with an emphasis on practice and less theory. At that time, HORSCH created these apprentice positions in addition to those that had already been planned.
One the biggest challenges for Amir Ali was the technical language. In everyday life he was able to communicate quite well. However, he had to learn the numerous technical terms he now was bombarded with.
With a lot of hard work and perseverance he managed to finish the training after two years as one of the best with a mark of 1.3.
Amir Ali then worked in the production department as a skilled employee but after a short time his ambition aroused again. He decided to add another training to the one he had already finished and to invest another one and a half years to become an industrial mechanic. While working in the production and logistic department he realised that there still was a lot to learn.
He finished this second vocational training, too, as one of the best apprentices in Bavaria with a mark of 1.3. Moreover, the Chamber of Commerce Regensburg/District Upper Palatinat/Kelheim honoured him as the best apprentice of his line of training. “Now I will do my best here in Schwandorf. I found a lot of friends and only if I work hard and do a good job I will get the residence permit to stay. I also want to earn money to be able to visit my mother in Iran.” After all the time of his escape he had visited her in 2020 using the money he had saved so far. And he wants to return some of the money they had put aside for this escape to his family.
At the end of the interview he says: „I hope that I will be allowed to stay. If I am deported to Afghanistan I will come to a country I don’t know and I don’t remember. My home is now here in Germany.“
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