Name: Qudratullah Salmani

Profile: Hazara refugee from Afghanistan, 28 years old, living in Tanjung-Pinang, Indonesia. A single man who lost the love of his life in Afghanistan.

Advantages: UN-certified, excellent English skills

Risk: At risk of being caught and killed by the Taliban if returned home

Needed: Five people to serve as private sponsors to Canada.

Advantages: FULL FUNDING from relatives and friends in Germany and Sweden. EMPLOYABLE: strong skill in masonry and ceramics

At his age of 21, Qudratullah fell in love with Atifa, a Pashtun girl and daughter of a Taliban leader. They wanted to get married, but their families disagreed due to being from different ethnic groups and religions. They had no choice but to escape. In the midst of that escape, Atifa was tragically killed by a member of the Taliban.

Qudratullah hardly fled his home country and came to Indonesia by boat. Despite living in a detention centre for four years, he didn’t lose hope. Instead, he used his time in learning new things, completing practical courses on construction and carpentry.

His hope now is to find five Canadian friends who can help him start his life again.


Qudratullah Salmani was born on January 1, 1993 in the Nad-e-Ali district of Helmand province in Afghanistan. Helmand is known as a largely dominated province by the Taliban.

Deprived of his study due to the war in Helmand, Qudrat traveled to Iran in February 2009, in search of work and his safety. He worked in different construction factories for four years. Lacking legal status in the country, he was caught and arrested by the Iranian police for staying and working without documents.

Found work in his village

In October 2013, he was deported back to Afghanistan where he went back to his hometown. After a few months, he found construction work in a house whose owner was a Pashtun. Working in the house, he fell in love with the house owner's daughter, whose name was Atifa. They kept their love hidden for four months. Eventually, they decided to get married.

When they shared the news, their families strongly disagreed with the match, due to ethnic and religion differences.

The escape

There was no hope. If they wanted to be together, they had to escape. Way left, so they escaped from their village and went to Qudratullah's uncle's home which was in another village in the same province. They stayed there for a few days when his uncle learned from the people that Atifa's father was one of the Taliban's leaders.

“I was trembling in fear, completely shocked and distressed after I knew about Atifa’s father.”

Atifa’s father ordered the Taliban to find them soon. The consequence of what he had done was only death according to the Taliban. He asked his uncle to help him escape from Helmand. The situation was so bad that he could only escape alone and had to leave Atifa behind.

He wore a burka in order not to be recognized by the Taliban on the way and arrived in Kabul by October 6, 2014.

Leaving home

In Kabul, he came to know by his uncle that a member of the Taliban killed Atifa when she was going to her home back. In search of Qudratullah, when members of the Taliban came to his home, his family promised to deliver him to them if he returned.

After staying in Kabul for eleven days, his uncle arranged for a people smuggler, and on October 17, 2011 he flew from Kabul to India. He stayed in a house in New Delhi, India for four days. From New Delhi, he flew to Malaysia on October 21, 2014. After staying for three days in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, he and some other refugees, were brought to Medan, Indonesia by a dangerous boat on October 24, 2014.

Life in Indonesia

Finally, on October 27, he came to Jakarta for registering himself at UNHCR and stayed in Bogor for 6 days.

With no right to work or way to support himself in this new country, he made his way to Balikpapan Detention Centre and asked for assistance.

Life in a detention centre

After staying and sleeping outside of the detention centre for a week, he was detained in Balikpapan Detention Centre alongside other refugees for four years.

During this time, the detention centre was overcrowded and they didn’t have access to proper food, enough water or a decent place to sleep.

“For me, it was the worst part of being a detainee to be unaware of the time of being free.”

Finally, he received his freedom from the detention centre in June 2018. Since then, he has been living in a community house in Tanjung-Pinang, Indonesia.

His life now

Qudratullah attends his English class regularly. Also, he has completed two practical courses conducted by IOM on construction and carpentry. He always loves to help refugees and the Indonesian locals. He has helped other refugees as an interpreter. He has participated in world Cleanup Day as well.

His dreams

“My dream is to live in a land of freedom and be able to study, work, support my family and help everyone like I am hoping to be helped by finding a new home.”

The opportunity

It’s possible. Since Qudratullah is officially certified as a refugee by the UNHCR – unlike the vast majority of the world’s refugees – he qualifies for Canada’s private sponsorship program, he has some friends who have agreed to cover the costs of his first year in Canada. These funds will be placed in a trust account as part of the requirements for his application to come to Canada.

If you would like to sponsor Qudratullah– or if you’re just interested in helping to bring him here – please contact his friend Stephen Watt.

You can also reach out to Qudratulah directly by email.

Reach out and discover how wonderful it is to privately sponsor a good person to start a new life – with your help – in Canada!