It's late September, the days are getting shorter and colder, it's slightly raining – a typical day for early fall in Hamburg. During the past years Hamid Nader Zada got used to the weather in northern Europe and especially in Hamburg. "It's a bit cold but actually a nice day," he says with a smile while taking a seat on a solid wooden chair at Hamburg's central park, "Planten un Blomen." Between weeping willows and yellow leaves on green grass the young man from Afghanistan starts to tell the story of his journey.
Everything started seven years ago back in Afghanistan, where he and his father's lives were threatened. When things escalated and an attempted murder on his father shortly failed, Hamid's family decided to send him to his sister in Norway - more than 5,000 kilometers away. A long journey for a fifteen-year-old boy who only speaks Dari. Although the family supported him financially, the money was just enough to get to Greece, where he tried to get illegally on a boat to Italy. "You always have to look for good hide-outs, for example on the top of a truck or in the cargo area. I tried it seven times until it worked out," he remembers abstractedly as he takes a drag of his cigarette.
When arriving in Italy Hamid continued traveling up north through several European countries to finally get caught by the police in Copenhagen and be officially registered as a refugee. As nobody took care of him he went to Norway anyway and lived with his family for about seven months until the Norwegian government sent him back to Denmark due to European law. "I had all my documents and even a medical examination to prove that I was underage, but they didn't believe me," he explains while uncomprehendingly shaking his head.
Without any progress and directions the teenager felt stuck in the system. About two years he waited for a – finally negative – decision of the Danish government. "To be honest, I didn't understand what was going on and why the process took so long. I felt that nobody really understood or explained it to me so I got in some serious trouble," he sighs while explaining his past aggressive feelings. After all that Hamid escaped from police again, sold all his possessions to afford traveling and tried to find a place to stay. Two years ago, at age 20, he finally arrived in Hamburg.