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“If life consists only in this, I do not want it”


“My head, legs, and back hurt. I cannot sleep because of the pain. I do not know where my family is, or how they are doing. I cannot contact them, because they do not have a telephone and are not on a social network. Even they if they were, I would have difficulty reaching them, because there is no connection to my village, and even the lights go out from time to time.” S.H. is 27 years old. He was born near Nowshera, in a little village in Pakistan, where he left two sisters, a mother, his wife, and a daughter.

When he was 11, he had to leave school to start working in his father’s store. This shop, selling videocassettes and musical instruments, ended up costing him much more than just years of lost study. “Sharia is clear: musical instruments and videocassettes are prohibited,” a group of Taliban told him in front of the store. They killed his father, and S.H. had to flee the country with scars from being beaten all over his shoulders.

Four months ago, he arrived in Italy, and is living on the streets within Mestre and Marghera, parts of Venice. On the recommendation of the police headquarters, he came to EMERGENCY’s Clinic in Marghera. The first time that we met him, he was very discouraged. “If life consists only in what I am living now, I do not want it. It makes no sense”. He did not have confidence, and he looked around suspiciously, maybe because he found himself in a place strange to him, or maybe because he was just tired and afraid. We gave him a hand in applying for international protection, and treated his wounds — physical and psychological — and, recently, when he has passed through Marghera, he has always showed up at the clinic to say hi to us.

– Nazhend, EMERGENCY cultural mediator at the Marghera Clinic