An Essay by Farhad Afghan

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Afghan immigrants at a resettlement camp in Afghanistan

Economists, social experts, geographers and politicians have various definitions of immigration. The simple, and most clear definition comes from the UN: the displacement of people from one geographic area to another due to a natural disaster, social disorder and/or economic challenge is called immigration.

Immigration is one of the biggest challenges of our age, specifically immigration of people from developing nations to European countries where the citizens may be hostile to newcomers. Donald Trump, the current president of the US, wants to curtail immigration to the US by building a wall between Mexico and the US, which has led to many hot arguments in international communities. However, I want to discuss immigration as it relates to Afghanistan.

Generally, Afghan immigration is divided into two parts: internal immigration, and external immigration. Internal immigration is due to war in one province or the occurrence of a natural disaster. Both of these things displace Afghans to other parts of Afghanistan, most often, to large cities. For instance; one month ago a violent conflict occurred in Ghazni province and many people immigrated to other provinces. Another example is the land slide in Bamiyan in 2012. Displaced people immigrated to Kabul. External immigration is usually due to insecurity, discrimination, or joblessness which forces people to leave their homes and immigrate to other countries with the hope of a better life. For example: three million Afghans live in Pakistan and two million live in Iran. A huge number of Afghans have immigrated to European countries as well.

People in Afghanistan immigrate for the reasons that the UN sites in its definition: natural disasters, economic problems and social disorders. The northeast of Afghanistan is an area of earthquakes and many times homes have been destroyed, leaving the people homeless. The government has not intervened to offer help so these people immigrate to other countries. Joblessness and poverty, coupled with no social safety net provided by the government has caused people to lose hope and immigrate to other countries where opportunities are better. For example, youths who graduate from university and find no jobs available lose their optimism and immigrate to European countries. War and bomb explosions, kidnapping, discrimination, corruption and segregation are the social reasons for the immigration of Afghans.

It is important for the Afghan government to work towards raising the number of citizens who stay in the country. They could start by supporting small businesses, giving loans to people with workable business plans. Afghan citizens must also work towards less immigration by putting away their disagreements and working together to make this country great, powerful and honorable.

About the Author: Farhad Afghan is in his fourth and final year as an undergraduate student in Geoscience in the Geography department at Bamiyan University.

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Writing by Afghan writers. Editor/Publisher: Nancy Antle; Editor: Pamela Hart

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