NY Times: "Lost Boys of Afghanistan"

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"On the edges of a Salvation Army soup line in Paris, a soft-spoken Afghan boy told the story recently of how he ended up in Europe, alone.

The boy, who said he was 15 but looked younger, recounted how his family left Afghanistan after his mother lost her leg in an explosion in 2004. They spent three years in Iran, where he went to school for the first time, learning English and discovering the Internet. After his father suffered a back injury that made working difficult, the boy, who declined to give his name, headed west.

He spent two months working 11-hour days in a clothing sweatshop in Istanbul, he said. He was then smuggled into Greece, where he was forced to work on a potato and onion farm near Agros for nine months, finally escaping in the back of a truck. He reached Paris by train after nearly a year on the road.

“I want to go to school,” he said in English. “I would like it if I could be — it sounds like a lot to ask — an engineer of computing.” (click here for full link)

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