Travel books

KTC visited Iraq in april 2017. We conducted group psychotherapy and psychological defusing amongst Yazidiern people in refugee camps who had escaped from the Shingal mountins, from the forced conversion conducted by Daesh. It is almost impossible to imagine the horror these people had gone through. Almost impossible to describe the conditions. Although, we were welcomed with warmth and managed to gather families in one of the biggest tents. At our last day we asked the women what they would wish if they could…they answered, a sewing machine. We went to the nearest small town and bought two sewing machines. We returned, got through security outside camp and asked to gather the women. We gave them the sewing machines. They cried and we couldn’t either hold our tears back.  One moment of total connection, love and total humbleness in the middle of despair. A history and precense of violence ceased for a short moment. Insha Allah.

”It’s not easy to write a summary from a job and travel to Kabul, Afghanistan. We landed November 24th 2016 in Kabul international airport, transferring in Istanbul. A summary? All I can think of are the moments there, then. That’s not a summary, that’s for me today, memories.

We did our job, conducted a workshop, cognitive behavioral therapy as a theory and a practical tool for handling severe trauma.
The group at the workshop was eager for knowledge, not easy to get or to attend a workshop for. Several were traveling to attend all the way from Jalalabad and other faraway places.
This is something I reflected over, later on. People working in refugee camps, from local offices, from places quite far away. The traveling for them were dangerous and life threatening. From the first to the last day it went very well and as we planned and expected. The attendants were pleased and the time was worthwhile spent.
I’ve done this before. Several times. Leaves a feeling of have done something useful. That’s okay.
This time it was totally different for me. Not that our job wasn’t well done, I didn’t worry about that. We stayed and was so good hosted as usually by our very good friends at NGO Tabish Organization. But my colleague had friends outside our safe zone; we joined them (after long discussions about safety, armed guards a.s.o.) and saw another side of Kabul. For me it was a hit in my head. I felt like an European. Completely stupid, uneducated. About reality. But at the same time, a lot of space in my head to fill with knowledge I never had before.

Here starts my extreme problem. I have thousands of things I want to write. About honor violence. About girls, boys, that falls in love with the wrong person, outside the family. The murders, death threats that follows them and there is no safe place in the world to escape. About the families I met. About pictures I took. I was naive. Wanted to show the pictures on our home page on the web. My idiot. I would have put a lot of people in severe danger, in danger for their lives.
I got stuck between the free European democracy, the freedom of write whatever I want and take pictures and publishing it and the sensitivity of writing and taking photos in a country where this doesn’t exist at all. If I do it, I risk lives of people.

We had plans of visiting a psychiatry hospital and the hangar where heroin addicts were treated. No way, this didn’t succeed at all. I’ve visited this places before, this time we got stuck. I don’t know why. But on the other hand I know. A couple of bomb attacks and a smaller earthquake didn’t catch my mind. The politices , the culture, the real life, everything else got to me. Besides that, got the understanding and knowledge of Swedens migration laws. For the moment it’s the most inhuman in Europe. I’m ashamed. In a short time we will publish links to a Norwegian report and another report which shows info about facts that I wouldn’t be able to write here.

Today, one week before Christmas evening I went with some colleagues to eat the all known in Sweden ”Christmas table” with so much food you can’t eat it all. I sent a text message to a friend in Afghanistan. I asked what they were doing. I got the answer; we have been eating good food. Rice with raisins. I have never felt so ashamed in my whole life. ”

/Niko Laine Leg. psychotherapist, supervisor and teacher of cognitive psychotherapy.