...Long live the Blog.
Sporadic posting will continue at rossmcdonnell.tumblr.com
Chaman enjoyed a relatively peaceful life in Iran until he was 16 when a car crash almost killed him.
He was in a coma for nineteen days and awoke to find his leg smashed to pieces...and that he was blind.
During his miraculous recovery he began to question his faith in Islam and along with some friends formed an organization he called 'Searching for Truth' to ask local religious leaders why Sunni persecuted Shia and why Muslims could not live in harmony together. Their line of inquiry, visiting with powerful Iranian clerics such as Sheik Abbas, Sheik Khatimi and the Afghan Mullah Sheik Islami and questioning them on the very foundations of Islamic faith raised questions in the Iranian secret service and Chaman, aged 19, was imprisoned for forty five days in the Damian jail north of Tehran, accused of being a terrorist.
On his release Chaman decided that he wanted to seek a better life in Europe and left Iran over the mountainous smuggling routes with other Afghan migrants through Turkey and onwards to Greece. Many of his friends died on the three month trek.
Chaman has been lucky in Greece, people have befriended him and begun to help him out of the perilous spiral of illegality and poverty that many Afghan refugees face on their arrival to Europe. He has been able to begin getting the medical advice that he needs. Doctors tell him that with new surgical methods there is a chance he could see again.
A brave young man with the most positive attitude, his story is as heart-wrenching as it is inspiring.
“There is no past and no present” he told me, “only the future”.