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No Way Forward For Afghan Asylum Seekers In Europe's Capital

A Eurasianet partner post from RFE/RL

BRUSSELS -- Mahboub and his wife, Rama, fled from Afghanistan's Helmand Province three years ago to what they thought would be a better life in Europe.

But while they no longer face threats from the Taliban, comfort has proven elusive for the couple and their growing children. They find themselves between a rock and hard place in Belgium, often spending time on the streets, their future shrouded in uncertainty.

In a cozy, one-bedroom flat in the little Belgian town of Binche, an hour's drive south of Brussels, Rama brews some tea and prepares food for her 1-year-old son. With her 3-year-old daughter away at preschool, Rama reflects on the changes her family has seen.

The flat, she says, is the nicest place they have had since they left their home country via Pakistan in 2008. But not all is for the better.

"First, when we started our trip from Pakistan, we were thinking that now the danger is finished and we are safe and that we would have a safe life," she says. "But when we arrived in Belgium, it was worse than Afghanistan."

Personal Hell

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A Eurasianet partner post from RFE/RL

No Way Forward For Afghan Asylum Seekers In Europe's Capital

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