Leader, Counsellor, Educator

Mohammad Nasim Mohammadi

Name: Mohammad Nasim Mohammadi (Nasim). On Facebook as Nasim Shahran

Profile: Hazara refugee from Afghanistan. Living in Indonesia.

Advantages: U.N. certified refugee. Training as peer counsellor, English teacher and translator.

Risks: At risk of being injured or killed if he returns to Afghanistan or Pakistan.

Canadian contact: Stephen Watt

Need: Funding to cover cost of first year in Canada. Contact Stephen Watt or Nasim to donate.

When he was a child, Nasim’s family fled from Afghanistan to Pakistan to escape persecution from the Taliban. Upon returning to Afghanistan, his father was murdered, and Nasim fled to Indonesia where he has been for 8 years.

He longs to live in Canada and make the most of his English and peer counselling skills. Nasim has found 5 Canadian friends to sponsor his resettlement in Canada. They are currently fundraising for the costs of his first year in Vancouver. Please contact Nasim if you can help.

Land Stolen

Nasim’s family is Hazara, a community that has long been the target of brutal persecution and ‘ethnic cleansing’ in Afghanistan because of their religion, value on education, and equal opportunities for women. In 1998, over 8,000 Hazaras were massacred by the Taliban. Hazaras continue to be targeted to this day. The Taliban and other extremist groups split up families and enact their own violent rule.

When Nasim’s grandfather died, he had left the land to his daughter, Nasim’s mother, to ensure her safety and financial security. However, Nasim’s great uncle and a group of armed, masked men came to steal the land. Nasim’s father was injured, and his family fled to Pakistan, hoping to find safety.

Discrimination in Pakistan

In Pakistan, Nasim’s family set up a new home in a Hazara area, and his father started a fruit shop. In 2013, a bomb exploded near their home. The blast blew out all their windows, injuring Nasim's little sister. Another blast occurred in 2014, this time from a suicide bomber.

“My parents fled Afghanistan because of discrimination. However, we faced the same persecution and fear in Pakistan.

When Hazaras go out, they never know if they will come back. There is always the threat of violence. There is no thriving — only survival.”

Hostile Return to Afghanistan

After almost 20 years as refugees in Pakistan, Nasim and his father returned to their home village in Afghanistan. They were hoping to reclaim their stolen land. Relatives warned his father about how dangerous the people were who took the land, and Nasim was worried about his father. When his father went out to see the house and land, some men threatened to beat him.

One night soon after, Nasim’s cousin woke him to say they needed to leave immediately. They escaped into the mountains at night.

I asked my cousin, ‘What is wrong? Where is my father? Please tell me something!' But he didn’t answer.”

They walked through the mountains until morning. There was no way to contact his father.

After returning to Pakistan, Nasim learned what he had feared — his father had been murdered.

A Family Apart

Nasim knew that his family’s life would not improve in Pakistan. They would always be at risk. So he decided to go to Indonesia in search of safety, peace, justice and freedom of speech.

“Moving was very hard for me because my family is everything and I know how they are living there. My two brothers, sister and mother are all still in Pakistan. But I had to do something to try to change our lives.”

On July 2, 2014, Nasim arrived in Indonesia.

A Refugee Treated like a Criminal

After some time on the street, Nasim was able to register as a refugee at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). He thought then he would be safe. However, Nasim spent almost 4 years in the Tanjung-Pinang Detention Centre (TPDC). Although he had committed no crime, Nasim was treated like a criminal.

He is still fearful of speaking out about the details of his experience, except to say that it was stressful and traumatizing. He continues to have high blood pressure and problems sleeping that started while he was there.

Making Lemonade

Nasim is motivated to make a difference. While a refugee in Indonesia, Nasim has managed to learn English and take many education and training modules to help him volunteer his time and skills to other refugees. Along with teaching English, he also provides support through counselling and strategies for stress management and problem solving. He helps coordinate training events organized by the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

“One of the people I helped to learn English got transferred to the USA. He still thanks me and it makes me happy.”

It is time for Nasim to feel freedom, too. Can you help him come to Canada?

His hope for the future - in his words

“Helping me also makes it easier for me to help my family, and brings all of us a step closer to being able to breathe in a peaceful environment.

I love to develop and contribute whatever skills I can. A little help can go a long way. If refugees don’t help each other, then people withdraw, stop communicating, and develop health problems. Contributing helps maintain a positive mindset. In Canada, I will continue to help however I can.”

The Opportunity

As a UNHCR refugee, Nasim is eligible for Canada’s private sponsorship program. There is a way for him to live a life with freedom. All he needs is to be sponsored by a group of five Canadian friends.

To help support Nasim as a sponsor, please contact Stephen Watt on Facebook.

You can also reach out to Nasim through Facebook - where he is Nasim Shahran - or by email or WhatsApp: +6283185750930

Reach out and discover how wonderful it is to privately sponsor a good person to start a new life – with your help – in Canada! Even sharing this profile with others is a good way to help.

Thank you for your support.