It was while Afghanistan was still under communist rule in the 1970s and 1980s that Hassan first feared for his safety. His uncle and cousin were captured by the regime – even today, he is still unsure of their whereabouts. Worried that his family may also face a similar fate, Hassan and his family fled to Dubai. As an entrepreneur, it was difficult for him to leave his thriving sweater factory business behind. They started anew, eventually building another business. But due to increasing extremist influence in Arab countries, he lost his business in Dubai, eventually migrating to Canada in 1997.
Once more, determined to support his family, Hassan established another business in Canada from scratch. “It was hard to be successful at first, because I didn’t know the system,” he says. Though safe and settled in Canada, Hassan worries for his home country: “Hazara people are not safe… I fear the country will get worse.”
*Names changed for protective reasons