From oppressive streets in Iran to a chance of freedom
Organized by: Fariborz Sadeghi
-18 year old boy Milad working day and night in the farms supporting his mom and sister while having a father who abandoned them at a young age and a government that keeps a poverty oppressed structure and a youth that has a high drug addiction rate, for Milad football is a dream he can only whisper to himself is the only way out.
Milad A Basti , a boy, who learned how to play football by playing it in the streets of a suburb of Rasht , a city in the north of Iran. Since he was a child he has impressed everyone with his physical attributes in football, as much as everyone around him thought that he would end up in television one day. He was very young, but still with his kind personality, he was an idol for the children that were at his age. The accidents in his hard life, took him slowly away from his biggest ambition; football.
From then on, his only dream seemed to be always far from his reach. He started playing football when he was only 5 years old with facilities which were barely acceptable, he was always seen as the best in the team and as well he was a role model for all the other players because of his brilliant technique, management and sense of cooperation. Winning was always his priority, not for himself but for the team.
His talents were good enough to receive offer from the best football clubs of the country to become one of their players. Furthermore, due to his family's situation, financial issues and culture he was obliged to do agricultural work alongside his education. Also this being that his dad never believed football was a path for his son's success. He was an old traditional man, who thought Milad had to follow his family's path in the future. Therefore, he has never won his parents support. This disagreement was to an extent that when his dad would see him playing football, Milad would get grounded. His parents were even against school education, and they saw education as a waste of money. However he continued to secretly practice football almost every night, and if he had a match he would somehow organize it, that his parents wouldn’t find out
. When he was only ten years old, he recieved so many offers from different teams in Tehran and Isfahan, offers that many would only dream of having. He never dared to talk about it with his parents, and he never thought it was possible for him to achieve his dream.
After the financial crisis that occurred in Iran in 2009, the economy worsened for people in the low levels of the society. Milad's dad found himself in debt and escaped to avoid being sent to prison. His dad left the city and left Milad at the age fourteen, with his mom and his little sister to make a living by themselves alone. They had to move to his grandmother’s home and Milad had to work day and night to provide his mother and sister with the necessities of life. There was a vast amount of mental and physical pressure for Milad and his family. With all this pressure Milad was accepted to study mechanical engineering in one of the best universities of Iran. he somehow managed to save up three thousand dollars in 4 years for his future. This was relieving news for him and his family. This was all thanks to Milad's determination, he believed that once you start something you have to end it in the best possible way.
Happiness is the most important part of life. Everyone explains happiness in their own way, someone gains happiness by breast feeding her child, and maybe for someone like Ronaldo in doing a hat-trick in a match. Milad`s motivation was that he had to try his best to achieve what made him the happiest; playing football.
He spoke to many football academies, including the ones that gave him the offers when he was young, but all of them required experience of playing football in a popular academy between the ages 15 to 18, Sadly, at that age Milad was so occupied with working to help his family therefore he was not eligible for the Iranian football academies.
Everyone can get tired of the ups and downs in life, but it is for sure much more painful to continue living life knowing that you can accomplish what you have always wanted. A country that inserted the thought that the only purpose of life is hardship, a father who never let his son express himself the way he wanted and a country where the talented will be suppressed with its faulty management. A country which only allows your dreams to be buried as you die. All of these were the reasons why Milad got the idea to leave his hometown, friends, family and country behind to achieve his dream. Milad believes that he can build his life again.
Milad needs a student visa, it is his only way out of Iran to Germany where he can have a chance of education, football, and most importantly freedom to have a chance of life. A government that is structured to keep the poor people suffering and a history of violence for Milad the only chance he has to escape is through Ifx (international futbol exchange program) that are willing to give Milad a student visa, a chance of education and being able to play futbol, and most importantly Milad would escape the bad situation he has and have a chance of freedom.